Rajon Rondo defends his skillset, takes jab at former Kings teammates
Rajon Rondo is here to chew bubblegum and speak his mind. And he’s all out of bubblegum.
In an interview with David Aldridge of NBA.com on Monday, Rondo, who has been relegated to a sixth man role for the Chicago Bulls this year, passionately defended his skillset and took a thinly-veiled swipe at his former Sacramento Kings teammates in the process.
“It’s just, maybe, the personnel in this situation,” the four-time All-Star point guard said. “I mean, last year — I hate to keep talking about last year — but you couldn’t name three people on my team, the Sacramento Kings, and I led the league in assists. You know? I don’t know. I believe so [that his skill set still has value], given the right personnel and the flow of the game.”
Rondo indeed led the league in both total assists (839) and assists per game (11.7) as a King last season. But that didn’t necessarily translate into a healthy ecosystem in Sacramento as they finished tied for 14th in offensive efficiency (per ESPN). In fact, one of the prevailing criticisms of Rondo was that his tendency to kill the flow of the offense and to force passes into traffic as he hunted for assists was an overall detriment to winning basketball.
This season in Chicago has been even worse for Rondo: his 7.0 assists per game are his lowest in nearly a decade, and he was recently removed from the rotation entirely by head coach Fred Hoiberg (though he has since been reinstated to lead the second unit). Rondo has never had the strongest reputation as a teammate either, and these latest comments essentially calling his former ones in Sacramento nobodies will do nothing to shake that image.