The Los Angeles Lakers have taken a methodic approach to restructuring the roster around their star talent. Among those moves featured the Lakers bringing back point guard Rajon Rondo for his second tenure. Before the 2021-22 season begins, Rondo openly discussed leadership in the Lakers’ locker room.
Rajon Rondo rejoins the Lakers for second stint
As the Lakers rounded the roster into form, the front office brought back a familiar face.
Los Angeles inked Rondo to a one-year, $2.6 million deal to further stabilize the backcourt. The 35-year-old became available after he was bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies days after being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Rondo will step into a primary ball-handler role off the bench to help lead the second unit. He will compete for playing time alongside Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk. Before he begins his second tenure with the Lakers, he delved into the importance of locker room leadership.
Rajon Rondo gets brutally honest about leadership in the Lakers’ locker room: ‘No one likes a guy that just talks about it’
Rondo‘s journey back to the Lakers puts him in a unique spot with the revamped roster.
The two-time NBA champion returns to Los Angeles to not only provide backcourt stability but another calming voice in the locker room. The 35-year-old will take up a leadership role that will be crucial in helping push the Lakers toward securing another NBA title.
Rondo recently voiced that his years of experience have taught him a valuable lesson concerning handling leadership responsibilities.
“You can’t pick and choose when you want to be a leader,” Rondo said via Silver Screen & Roll. “You have to show up every day. Guys are watching, young and old, and you’re being critiqued or judged. Regardless of the outcome of how you feel that morning, you try to show up and be consistent. No one likes a guy that just talks about it. You do it with your work, you do it with your discipline and your consistency.”
It’s a fine line between being the stalwart of information for his teammate then attempting to be-all and end-all for leadership due to the importance of communication and respect. Rondo also realizes it’s always a learning process that he can gather valuable information from his teammates of any age.
“So for me, the most important part is understanding that I don’t know it all and I’m a willing listener, and I can learn from Malik Monk or Trevor Ariza,” Rondo said. “So having an open mindset and not being closed off and thinking you know it all is I think a big key to being a leader, and I think something I’ve grown from in my past.”
The four-time All-Star possesses more than a decade of experience, but it’s much more than passing on advice to his teammates. It’s a responsibility that comes in many shapes and forms depending on the situation and group talent around him.
Nonetheless, it’s evidently clear Rondo is embrace a leadership role within the Lakers’ locker room next season.
Los Angeles hoping an older roster leads to an NBA title
This offseason, the Lakers‘ front office put together a roster with an assortment of veteran players around the star talent.
Los Angeles possesses youth with several younger players, with Anthony Davis (28), Malik Monk (23), Kendrick Nunn (26), and Talen Horton-Tucker (20). However, the bulk of the roster is over 30 years old and will play crucial roles in pushing the franchise toward title contention.
It goes well beyond age, as the Lakers constructed a roster filled with versatile defenders and shooting around Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook. Meanwhile, the Lakers have tremendous depth that will test the players’ willingness to sacrifice their ego through fluctuating playing time and offensive responsibilities.
If the Lakers’ revamped roster can work through that, they should become a serious NBA title contender. Only time will tell if Los Angeles has put together a group that can accomplish that lofty feat.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.