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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

Rajon Rondo

Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins discussed reuniting

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Rajon Rondo were teammates once and apparently enjoyed it so much they wanted to experience it again.

During the 2017-2018 season, Davis, Rondo, and Cousins played for the New Orleans Pelicans. Following that season, Rondo signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers and Cousins, who was recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, shocked the NBA world by joining the Golden State Warriors.

The three are now teammates once again with the Lakers. According to Cousins, this is something that was discussed on several occasions.

The last time Davis, Cousins, and Rondo were on the same team, they advanced to the second round of the playoffs. This time around they are hoping being on a team with LeBron James will take them even further.

Rajon Rondo returning to Lakers on two-year deal

Rajon Rondo

The Los Angeles Lakers are filling out their roster after missing out on Kawhi Leonard and bringing back some familiar names.

Rajon Rondo will return to the Lakers on a two-year deal, according to ESPN.

Rondo signed a 1-year, $9 million deal with the Lakers last year. He only played in 46 games due to injury, averaging 9.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

The Lakers’ roster now includes:
Guards: Rondo, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels
Forwards: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Jared Dudley
Centers: JaVale McGee, DeMarcus Cousins

They still have some more spots to fill out, but that gives you a good picture of what their team will look like.

Seeing the Lakers bring Rondo back after some of his behavior at the end of last season is a surprise, but their options were limited.

Look: 2008 Celtics got together for a dinner in LA, no Ray Allen

Boston Celtics

The 2008 Boston Celtics remain a tight-knit group more than a decade after they won the championship together, with one exception.

Kendrick Perkins shared a photo on Twitter and Instagram Thursday that showed him, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Sam Cassell dining together.

That group together formed the core of the 2008 Celtics that went 66-16 and won the championship over the Lakers.

Isaiah Thomas, who played for the Celtics from 2014 to 2017, humorously commented about his lack of an invitation to the dinner, saying “No invite cuz lol” on Perkins’ Instagram.

Of course, most fans made note of Ray Allen’s absence. Though it may simply be a matter of Allen not being in Los Angeles like everyone else at the dinner, Rondo has been holding a grudge against him for leaving to join the Heat.

Rajon Rondo explains what trade rumors did to Lakers’ players

Rajon Rondo

The Los Angeles Lakers’ season was destabilized around the trade deadline, when much of the roster was floated as part of the team’s very public pursuit of New Orleans center Anthony Davis.

Point guard Rajon Rondo has been around the NBA for a long time, and offered some insight into why those trade talks were particularly damaging, especially to the team’s younger players.

“Every guy on our team, LeBron was their favorite player growing up,” Rondo said, via Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. “Everyone had the shoes, his jersey. You’re the biggest fan in the world. It’s like you’re playing with MJ, and then you get there, and it’s like your mom and dad, or the person that you looked up to and idolized, doesn’t want you. And then to have that sitting in your gut, not knowing. Guys aren’t at the age where they can have a man-to-man conversation versus texting you. Everybody wants to text you: ‘How you doing? We cool?’ People don’t understand how to have a real conversation and talk out problems.”

Rondo added, however, that it wasn’t just young guys who were impacted by the rumors.

“Even some of the old guys were affected,” Rondo added. “I can’t say a name, but I remember me and the guy were on the bench for the Atlanta game right before the [All-Star] break. The guy was cussing and talking bad about the situation during the game. I was like: ‘Snap out of it. That s— is over with. We’ll get through it. As vets, we have to move forward and not focus on what the young guys are focusing on. Set an example.’ It was a little crazy to see a vet distraught over that.”

Part of the reason James may have been ignorant to how much trade talk would destabilize the locker room is because, as he noted, he’s never been the subject of that speculation before. The Lakers may not have made the playoffs even without that factor, but as Rondo illustrates, it was definitely a major distraction that really hurt the team in a key part of the season.

Mark Jackson rips Rajon Rondo for ‘unacceptable’ behavior

Rajon Rondo bench

Mark Jackson ripped Rajon Rondo for some behavior he deemed “unacceptable” at the end of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 115-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

Jackson, an analyst for ESPN, criticized the Lakers guard for where he was sitting. Rondo was sitting in courtside seats — typically a fan area — rather than with his teammates.

“That can’t happen,” Jackson said firmly.

Jackson said the issues the Lakers are experiencing are “across the board,” meaning they are problems with the players and coaches.

Rondo should not be doing that, and the incident is another example of the problems the franchise is experiencing. But the especially sharp criticism coming from Jackson seems to have an ulterior motive.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton has been on the hot seat all season, and the expectation is he’ll be fired after the season, which is something LeBron’s camp wants. I’ll bet you can’t guess who wants to be considered for the job. Yes, Mark Jackson, who is represented by LeBron’s agent, has been mentioned as a candidate. He’s made some other biased comments during a game on ESPN in the past that were aimed at improving the Lakers.

This is the second time this season that a photo of the Lakers’ bench has become an issue. As for a possible explanation, Rondo has said in the past that he likes courtside seats.

James Worthy critical of ‘detrimental’ Rajon Rondo following Lakers loss

Rajon Rondo

The Los Angeles Lakers topped their embarrassing defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday by losing to an even worse team two days later.

The Lakers lost 110-105 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night to drop to 29-31 on the season. Their bench was particularly putrid, led by Rajon Rondo’s poor game. Rondo shot just 1/6 and turned the ball over three times in 16 minutes. He had a -10 along with many other bench players, who combined to shoot 3/14 in the game.

After the contest, Lakers analyst James Worth said Rondo was “detrimental” to his team during the game and said it didn’t look like Rondo was mentally plugged-in.

It’s hard to argue with Worthy’s analysis based on how badly the Lakers bench played against Memphis. Over his last five games (Lakers 1-4 in the span), has just 22 assists compared to 19 turnovers. For his career, he averages 3 assists for every turnover.

The Lakers are running out of time this season and have just 22 games left to improve their record so they can make the playoffs.

LeBron James, Rajon Rondo attend Duke-Virginia game

LeBron James

First it was Jay Z, now it’s LeBron James. Everyone wants to watch Zion Williamson up-close.

LeBron and his Los Angeles Lakers teammate Rajon Rondo traveled to Virginia to watch the Cavaliers and Duke Blue Devils play at John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday. The game featured the Nos. 2 and 3 teams in the country squaring off.

Virginia’s only loss on the season entering the game came on the road at Duke in January, so credit the Blue Devils for accounting for both of Virginia’s defeats.

The game featured Duke star Zion Williamson and teammate RJ Barrett. On Virginia’s side, De’Andre Hunter is another good NBA prospect.

James is a big sports fan in general, so it’s not too surprising to see him catch a huge college basketball game, especially with his Lakers having the day off prior to their Sunday game in Philly. There are other more intriguing speculative reasons for LeBron being there. He also has a relationship with Coach K and may want his sons to potentially go to Duke. On top of that, James is Klutch Sports’ most prominent athlete and an ambassador for the agency, so there could be speculation about him trying to make an impression on Zion for agent Rich Paul. He’d have some major competition in that realm, though.

Rajon Rondo’s game-winner was just like shot he made with son

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo drilled a game-winning shot at the buzzer on Thursday night to give the Los Angeles Lakers a win over the Boston Celtics that they desperately needed, and the veteran point guard can thank his son for helping to prepare him for the big moment.

Rondo’s game-winner came from the left elbow after Al Horford blocked a Brandon Ingram layup attempt and the loose ball bounced to him. As Silver Screen & Roll highlighted, Rondo made the exact same type of shot while messing around with his son during warmups.

Every rep counts, right?

The Lakers needed a win after all the trade rumors surrounding the team and a rough week that started with a report of fighting following a loss. Rondo was the only player not bothered by having his name mentioned in Anthony Davis trade rumors, and that calming presence appeared to serve LA well on Thursday.

Watch: Rajon Rondo sinks Celtics with buzzer-beater

Rajon Rondo

Leave it to Rajon Rondo to help get the Los Angeles Lakers on track.

Rondo hit a game-winning shot at the buzzer to beat the Boston Celtics 129-128 on Thursday night. The Lakers were holding a 1-point lead before Kyrie Irving made a layup to put Boston ahead. Brandon Ingram got the ball for the Lakers and tried to win things with a layup, but his attempt was blocked. There was a scramble for the ball and Rondo grabbed it. He was able to sink the shot at the buzzer to win it all.

The Lakers badly needed the win. They’ve been through an awful week that started on Saturday night with a report of fighting after a loss. Then there were trade rumors all week that led to the team playing terribly in a 42-point loss to the Pacers on Tuesday. An Anthony Davis trade was not made, meaning several players whose names were included in trade rumors now have to finish out the season with the Lakers. Rondo was the only player not bothered by having his name in the rumors, and he’s showing why — ice water in his veins!

Details of Lakers’ trade offer for Anthony Davis revealed

Anthony Davis wingspan

The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to acquire Anthony Davis in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, and their first offer to New Orleans may not have been satisfactory.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Lakers’ first offer to the Pelicans included Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and a first-round pick.

The trade really amounts to Kuzma and Rondo, who each have value, and a first-round pick that probably will be in the mid-to-later part of the round. Lonzo Ball reportedly does not want to go to the Pelicans and has interest in another team if traded. The deal is not especially attractive.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania says the Lakers have offered the Pelicans their choice of two young players — Ball, Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac or Josh Hart — and either Lance Stephenson or Rajon Rondo.

If the Lakers want to get Davis, they would seemingly need to give up multiple high draft picks and/or take on some salary dumps from the Pelicans. Perhaps empowered by Gregg Popovich, the Pelicans do not seem like they will be steamrolled here.