Rajon Rondo, one of the best point guards in the NBA, is one of the most enigmatic players in the league. He’s not afraid to speak his mind, but he’s also known for being an incredible competitor, even when his team is down. That’s what he said before the Lakers’ game against the Golden State Warriors on Friday, when he said that the Lakers’ “age and experience” make them a championship team.
In a recent interview with the Sacramento Bee, LA Lakers guard Rajon Rondo—who has spent the last five years in the city—told the reporter: “I like the fact, and it’s a good thing, we’re at the end of our careers and we’re playing for something… It makes me feel good we’ve made it to the end of our careers and we’re playing for something.”
Rajon Rondo knows what it takes to win a championship, and as he was formally introduced as a Los Angeles Laker — for the second time — he claimed the team’s older age would only help them win another.
Rondo said, “Wisdom is absolutely essential to winning a championship.” “With our age and expertise on the court, we have a lot of that. I’m most looking forward to no longer being the team’s oldest member. I’m around [fifth oldest] now, so that’s a huge jump for me from being the oldest person on the squad two months ago to now being one of the younger ones.”
The Lakers are the oldest team in the NBA this season, and one of the oldest in league history, with Carmelo Anthony (37), LeBron James (36), Marc Gasol (36), Trevor Ariza (36) and Dwight Howard (35). Rondo, 35, has heard the argument that the team’s youth is a disadvantage, but he views it as a source of inspiration.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Rondo said. “I’m looking forward to the doubters saying our age is an issue, but in this game, you don’t have longevity without discipline.” “We have players with a lot of experience, but there’s a reason they’ve been in this league at this level for so long. As a result, I’m not concerned about anything, even the spectators’ assertions that age makes a difference. I believe that the mind will play a significant role in our victory this year.”
After splitting last season between the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Clippers, Rondo returned to the Lakers. In the Eric Bledsoe trade, he was moved from the Clippers to the Grizzlies, and he agreed to a contract buyout with the Grizzlies. He officially signed with the Lakers on Tuesday after clearing waivers. He’ll provide depth to the Lakers’ backcourt, backing up newly acquired Russell Westbrook.
Playing alongside Westbrook brings “more enthusiasm, more energy in practice,” according to Rondo. “I’m looking forward to competing alongside him and the other men on the squad in a lot more competitive events. In terms of competition, it’s a fantastic squad, and I’m looking forward to becoming better each day in practice with them.”
Last season, Rondo battled injuries and didn’t play a significant role in the Clippers’ late-season rotation. However, with the Lakers, he hopes to be fit and in a position to contribute this season.
“It hasn’t been ten years; I don’t believe I’ve changed much, and I don’t believe my game has deteriorated,” Rondo said. “However, you’re only as excellent as your coach thinks you are. And looking forward to this season, looking at this Lakers squad and roster, and knowing where I am in my career, I believe I can still contribute significantly to the game. But the important thing on my mind is that if we win, nothing else matters.”
Rondo credited his previous connections with the Lakers for his desire to return, citing his confidence in coach Frank Vogel as well as his friendship with James and Anthony Davis. Rondo, a two-time champion, was a major contributor to the Lakers’ championship in 2020, when they were on the verge of moving to Orlando.
“We didn’t have our parade after being champion for almost a year, but we want to do it again,” Rondo added. “Obviously, I want a parade here in Los Angeles, and I believe this is a great squad that can pull it off.”
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