Rajon Rondo is officially a Los Angeles Laker once again. The veteran guard took a year away to play with the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers but now finds himself back in the purple and gold. It remains to be seen how much of a role he’ll have on the court but he will provide the team a ton of veteran intelligence and leadership.
There’s been talk about how Rondo will get along with Russell Westbrook after the two had issues during the NBA bubble last year. However, the two have a solid relationship despite that flare-up. Rondo had his intro press conference on Tuesday and talked about what Westbrook brings to the team.
“More excitement, more energy in practice,” Rondo said of playing with Westbrook. “Looking forward to a lot more competitive competitions with him and other guys on the team. It’s a helluva team as far as a lot of competitors and I’m looking forward to getting better each day in practice with those guys.”
Adding Rondo will give the Lakers one of the peskiest backcourts in the NBA.
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Rondo Not Worried About Lakers’ Age
A major talking point surrounding the Lakers this offseason has been their age. They’ve added many players who are well into their 30s and Rondo only makes the team older at 35-years-old. Many believe that the team’s age will be an issue and Rondo is looking forward to proving a lot of people wrong.
“I’m looking forward to it, looking forward to the naysayers saying our age being a problem, but you don’t have longevity in this league without discipline,” Rondo said. “We have guys that have the mileage but there’s a reason they’re still playing in this league at this level for so many years. So I’m not worried about anything or the spectators saying age makes a difference. I think the mind is going to be a big key in why we win this year.”
While the Lakers are old, they will also be one of the smartest teams in the league. As long as the team’s health holds up, they should be in title contention at the end of the season.
Rondo Believes He Hasn’t Decline
Westbrook is the Lakers’ starting point guard and Kendrick Nunn is his likely backup. Rondo should only be the third option at the position. That doesn’t mean he won’t get plenty of playing time. He had a bad season last year but should return to form with a return to the Lakers and coach Frank Vogel.
“It hasn’t been 10 years, I don’t think I’ve changed much, I don’t think my game has declined,” Rondo said. “But you’re only as good as your coach believes in you. And going forward, this year looking at this Lakers team and the roster, understanding where I am in my career, at the same time I think I can still bring a lot to the game. But my main focus is, if we win, nothing else matters.”