Prior to the start of the current season, the Los Angeles Lakers accumulated a lot of big personalities. Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo are all very loud players who have been stars with other teams. However, they all came to the Lakers knowing they’d all be afterthoughts behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
It could’ve been a disaster but it has worked out really well for the team. Cousins never ended playing a game with them due to injury but his personality fit well with the team. Part of that was because of his strong relationship with Rondo. Those two men don’t get along with everybody but they get along with each other. Rondo recently explained why the two men work well together.
“In the words of Kobe [Bryant]. We’re both a**holes. We’re both hardheaded,” Rondo said, via Fadeaway World.
The late great Kobe was fond of calling Rondo an a**hole. Not everybody gets along with those types of guys but Kobe and Rondo had a good relationship. It sounds like his hardheadedness attracted Rondo to Cousins.
Cousins Coming Back to Lakers for Next Season?
Based on how long they kept him around, it was clear the Lakers didn’t want to let Cousins walk. However, it became clear that he probably wasn’t going to play the rest of the season and they needed to make room to sign Markieff Morris. Despite getting hit with really bad injuries over the last few years, Cousins was one of the best players in the NBA when he was healthy.
The biggest concern surrounding him is the fact that it’s not a foregone conclusion that he’ll ever return to form. He’s a really big man and a torn ACL is not an easy injury to recover from. He’s not going to get a big contract due to those concerns but could get another shot with the Lakers. Rumors recently came out that Dwight Howard might not come back next year. Cousins would be the perfect guy to fill that role. If he’s actually able to return to All-Star form, the Lakers would have a bonafide big three. The risk is probably worth the reward.
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Rondo Is Lakers’ 3rd Star?
Much has been made about how the Lakers need a third star behind Davis and LeBron. Many have suggested that Kyle Kuzma is the logical choice but Max Kellerman of ESPN believes Rondo has taken on that role.
“He [Rondo] always elevates in the playoffs. It is amazing,” Kellerman said on First Take. “In the regular season, he’s not good, he’s not, not in recent years; he’s getting older, he doesn’t shoot it very well. In the playoffs, throughout his entire career, he’s been a stone-cold All-Star. The Lakers now have their big three.”
“Playoff Rondo” has remerged for the Lakers this postseason. During the series against the Houston Rockets, Rondo was probably the team’s third-best player. He’s struggled for much of his tenure in Los Angeles but it’s hard to deny that he does play better in the playoffs. He may not be the third star anybody expected for the Lakers, but he’s been playing like it.