As Ray Allen prepares to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this month, there have been some questions about whether or not his former Boston Celtics teammates will cast their differences aside and be there to support the former sharpshooter. Allen clearly isn’t counting on it.
In a lengthy interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Allen was asked if he expects to speak with or hear from any of his ex-Celtics teammates about his enshrinement in Springfield. He was pretty blunt.
“No, I don’t expect to,” Allen told Charania.
Allen, of course, angered his former Celtics teammates when he chose to sign with the Miami Heat in 2012 rather than continuing to chase championships in Boston, where he helped win a title in 2008. He said he has since made amends with Paul Pierce but has not spoken with Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo or others.
“I talked to Paul a year ago today, and we patched it out,” Allen said. “So much was made about my decision, and they were upset with me because I left for Miami. But it will never change what went on between us in 2008.”
Allen was not among the former Celtics players present when the team retired Pierce’s No. 34 jersey earlier this year, though he later shared a lengthy statement explaining why things are fine between him and Pierce. Allen’s relationship with Rondo, however, is a much different story, and we got a sense of that with some of the things written in Allen’s book and the way Rondo reacted to them.
Rajon Rondo may be competing for a starting job with Lonzo Ball next season, but he has nothing but respect for Ball’s game.
In a video feature that was posted to the Los Angeles Lakers’ official Twitter page on Friday, Rondo gave some high praise to his young fellow point guard.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 6, 2018
“His IQ at 19 or 20 years old is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen, the game has ever seen,” said Rondo of Ball. “I love his unselfishness, the way that he plays the game. He wants the best for his teammates, and I think there’s a lot of similarities that we have.
“I look forward to teaching him as much as possible, and also, if he has some things I can learn from as well, I’ll definitely be open to it,” the 32-year-old continued. “I don’t have a mindset to where I’m the veteran guy, and I can’t learn from the young guys. I’m looking forward to a great partnership and working with a great guy.”
Coming from a 12-year veteran, four-time All-Star, and NBA champion, that is no small acclaim. Rondo and Ball do also share very similar styles of play (pass-first guards who can chip in on the glass and on the defensive end as well), which may help explain why Rondo feels a connection here.
Granted, only one of the two players will be able to start at point guard for the Lakers next season. But it sounds like it will be a healthy, good-natured competition, despite what Ball’s father LaVar might have to say about it.
The Los Angeles Lakers have bolstered their backcourt by agreeing to a deal with Rajon Rondo, and there has been some talk that he could potentially start over Lonzo Ball in the wake of Ball’s lackluster rookie season. You can probably guess how Ball’s father, LaVar, feels about that.
During an appearance on CNN Wednesday night, LaVar Ball was asked if he was concerned about a potential competition for the starting point guard job between Lonzo and Rondo. The elder Ball subtly referred to Rondo as a “backup.”
“That don’t mean nothing,” Ball said. “(Lonzo) just got another teammate. Another teammate, that’s all. A little backup, that’s good. I never worry about competition because I know my boys are better than that.”
Lonzo Ball averaged 10.2 points and 7.2 assists per game during his rookie season. He’s dealing with a torn meniscus this offseason, but he’s expected to be ready for training camp. While he still has the upper-hand in any potential competition for obvious reasons, there have been reports that Rondo has been told he could earn the starting job.
LaVar Ball has always been loud and proud when it comes to his kids, and he’s not going to change that for Rondo or anyone else. But if LeBron wants Rondo to start and Rondo looks better than Lonzo throughout the summer, the Lakers will have a tough decision to make.
Rajon Rondo will have the chance to start for the Los Angeles Lakers if he earns the role.
The Lakers raised eyebrows Monday by signing Rondo to a one-year deal, and according to Sam Amick of USA Today, he’ll be given the opportunity to compete with Lonzo Ball for the starting point guard position.
Rajon Rondo has no assurances that he'll start over Lonzo Ball, but it's entirely possible: "Best man plays," I'm told.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 2, 2018
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne cautioned that the Rondo move should not be considered a sign of a lack of faith in Ball.
All that said, LeBron did tell the Lakers on Saturday night that he likes Lonzo’s game and is excited to play with him.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 2, 2018
Clearly, the Lakers are immediately in win-now mode now that LeBron James is joining the team. That may mean Ball has to sit a while, though he may have other concerns at this time.
The Los Angeles Lakers are continuing to stockpile veteran players now that they have officially agreed to a deal with LeBron James, and point guard Rajon Rondo is the latest.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Rondo has agreed to sign a one-year deal with the Lakers. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports that the deal is worth $9 million.
Rondo is signing a one-year deal with Lakers, per source. https://t.co/wDG7BO7hLk
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
Sources: Rajon Rondo is signing a one-year, $9M deal with Lakers.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2018
The Lakers are clearly committed to building an experienced roster around LeBron, and they have even signed some players who didn’t get along with James in the past. Rondo probably falls under that umbrella from his days of playing with the Boston Celtics, but that was a long time ago.
Rondo played in 65 games in his lone season with the New Orleans Pelicans last year. He averaged 8.3 points and 8.2 assists per game.
Steve Kerr does not seem to mind the ongoing antics between Draymond Green and Rajon Rondo.
The Golden State Warriors coach was asked on Saturday about Green and Rondo going back and forth with each other. He said it’s part of the game, though he did make one exception.
Steve Kerr on Green/Rondo: "I don't see anything wrong with it, except for the tripping. I'm all for trying to get under a guy's skin. But you can't try to step on a guy's foot."
— Melissa Rohlin (@melissarohlin) May 5, 2018
Kerr says trying to trip an opponent crosses a line beyond playing mental games. This is probably the play Kerr was talking about.
Did Rondo try to trip Draymond pic.twitter.com/95GYe0z2fV
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 5, 2018
Additionally, Rondo had another controversial play where he appeared to slip his leg under where Steph Curry would land after a shot.
is Rondo putting his leg where Steph would land? pic.twitter.com/ygsmKgsRGz
— Alex (@Dubs408) May 5, 2018
When asked if he said something to the league about that play, Kerr said “possibly.”
As long as you’re not trying to injure someone, Kerr is mostly OK with it.
The Golden State Warriors-New Orleans Pelicans series is starting to heat up, as is the one-on-one rivalry between Draymond Green and Rajon Rondo.
Friday’s Game 3 saw Green and Rondo getting into it again and having to be separated. The two exchanged words after a whistle in the first quarter.
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) May 5, 2018
Then in the fourth quarter, Rondo was seen supposedly trying to trip Green as the two teams were retreating to their respective benches for a timeout.
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) May 5, 2018
After the game (which the Pelicans won 119-100 to make it a 2-1 series), Green scoffed at a reporter who implied he and Rondo were trying to bait each other.
“I get nothing out of trying to bait Rondo at anything,” said Green, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “That does nothing for me. Once again, when have I went up and tried to bait him? Y’all hate the storyline of someone trying to bait me, huh? I just gotta be involved like, ‘Oh, Draymond’s doing this.’
“At some point, somebody gotta tell the truth,” the reigning Defensive Player of the Year added. “It ain’t Draymond this time. I’ve baited a lot of guys, tried to bait a lot of guys. Succeeded quite a bit, sometimes failed. I ain’t trying to bait nobody…. Draymond ain’t trying to bait nobody.”
Rondo, for his part, later hit back at Green’s remarks, saying that he thought that the opposite was true and that he was not the one who was baiting Green.
Rajon Rondo on Draymond Green theorizing that Rondo was baiting him, not the other way around: "That's his game. I don't try to bait him. He talks a lot of ish." pic.twitter.com/dHflty9OPQ
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 5, 2018
Game 4 between the Pelicans and Warriors will take place on Sunday in New Orleans, and the friction between the two players will be worth keeping an eye on, especially since they already had another heated confrontation in Game 2.