The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves in an intense Saturday afternoon game as tempers flared between Dennis Schroder and ex-L.A. point guard Rajon Rondo. The veteran Hawks guard received a technical foul after pushing the basketball into Schroder’s face as the two exchanged words in the third quarter. After the game, Schroder was not happy with Rondo noting, “that’s not basketball” when asked about the incident.
“Like I said, I mean, I love competitors,” Schroder explained in his postgame press conference. “I love competitors who really try to compete against me on the court, but that’s not competing no more, and I’m going to leave it at that. That’s fine, but that’s not competing. I’m going to leave it at that. We just keep it going. I’m not trying to be rude, but that’s not basketball.”
It was interesting timing as earlier in the game the Lakers played a video honoring Rondo’s role on last season’s championship team. Schroder was the Lakers’ big offseason move to help replace Rondo at point guard and has been a significant upgrade.
Here is a look at the exchange with Rondo that had Schroder fuming.
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Schroder on His Future in L.A.: ‘I Want to be a Laker for a Long Time’
Schroder has become an integral part of this Lakers team but is slated to hit free agency this offseason. The Lakers and Schroder have been in negotiations on an extension but so far have not agreed to a new deal. Schroder recently admitted he, “want[s] to be a Laker for a long time.”
“In eight years, I didn’t feel one time where I had to, you know, can sit down in the summer and just see the options,” Schroder noted, per The Orange County Register. “So, we’re kind of, between these: Should we just sign the extension? Or should we wait until the summer? Because at the end of the day, I want to be a Laker for a long time. I always say I want it to be fair.”
Perkins on Schroder: ‘LeBron James Loves His Tenacity’
Longtime NBA player and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins pushed the Lakers to get an extension done rather than allowing Schroder to test the free-agent waters. Schroder is in the final season of a four-year, $70 million deal and is expected to get a raise from his current $15.5 million salary, per Spotrac.
“I know one thing, look, they call Dennis Schroder ‘Dennis the Menace’ for a reason,” Perkins explained on ESPN’s “The Jump.” “He is a problem on the court. He is one of the few guys that pick up [players] 94-feet defensively. LeBron James loves his tenacity. He loves the edge and the spirit that he plays with and last year, I mean, he was the runner-up for Sixth Man of the Year, averaging almost 20 points a game. So, he’s still in his prime. He’s going to be in his prime still for the next five years. I think the Lakers get something done and get something done early. You don’t want him to hit the free-agency market.”