For Rajon Rondo, things always seem to get turned up a notch in the postseason. That’s when Playoff Rondo shines. The Los Angeles Lakers point guard is nearing the end of a lengthy and very productive NBA career. He’s played 14 seasons in the NBA and is getting closer to reaching a goal of his. It would be an accomplishment that nobody has ever achieved in the NBA.
Rajon Rondo’s NBA career
Rajon Rondo is in his 14th season in the NBA. He played his college basketball at Kentucky. The 6-foot-1 point guard was selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2006 NBA draft. He was the 21st player taken overall.
Rondo spent the first nine years of his career with the Celtics. He was a true playmaker for the Celtics and was a key component to Boston winning the NBA title during the 2007-08 season. During that season – his second year in the NBA – he started all 77 games he played. He averaged 10.6 points and 5.1 assists per game. During his time with the Celtics, he gradually increased his production and became an NBA All-Star for four straight seasons.
Rondo was traded to the Dallas Mavericks during the 2014-15 season. Since that season, he has played for five different teams. During his 14 years in the league, he has led the league in assists three times and was the NBA leader in steals during the 2009-10 season. He has averaged 10.2 points and 8.3 assists per game.
Rondo always seems to turn it up in the postseason
When the stakes get higher, so does Rajon Rondo’s playoff performance. Playoff Rondo, as he sometimes called, was at it again this year. Rondo’s big playoff game this year came against the Houston Rockets in Game 3. That victory over Houston helped teammate LeBron James become the career leader in NBA playoff victories. Rondo scored 21 points and dished out nine assists.
Although Rondo doesn’t believe in Playoff Rondo, his teammate, Anthony Davis, says it’s real. “Playoff Rondo is real,” Davis said after the game. “His intensity picks up. He wants to guard the best perimeter guy. He wants to facilitate on the floor. He’s shooting the ball very well, making the right passes. We’ve got the two best I.Q. guys in the game with him and LeBron on the floor at the same time, which is tough for defenses. So, Playoff Rondo is real, and he showed up tonight.”
James said that Rondo’s experience has been a big-time help for the Lakers. “The postseason is about making adjustments from game to game, and also being able to make adjustments on the fly because things happen in real time. Being able to see how defenses are playing, seeing how the game is being played, seeing how the flow of the game is being played, there’s just not many guys that can do that in our league. In the postseason, it’s gigantic. Having (Rondo) on your side definitely helps.”
Rondo getting close to making history
If the Lakers finish off the Denver Nuggets and then go on to win the NBA Finals, Rondo will accomplish something no player has ever done in the league. It’s been a goal of his since he arrived in LA to be the first player to win an NBA championship with both the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers.
He’s been thinking about the feat since 2018. “I need another ring,” Rondo said in 2018, according to Bleacher Report. “It’s simple. I want to be the first to win for the two most historic franchises that’s ever put a basketball to use. So, I got one in Boston and I’d love to get one with this organization.”
Five more Lakers wins and Rondo will make history. “You expect certain teams, certain franchises (to be like this),” said Rondo then. “Obviously, playing for Boston that was probably the best experience I’ve had since I’ve (been in the league). And now here. Obviously, all the teams I’ve played for, they do have great organizations, but none touch this.”