Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo reflects on the iconic Lakers-Celtics rivalry. The two-time champion is one of the few players to play for both the iconic franchise.
Probably one of the best leaders in the league currently, Rajon Rondo is known for high basketball IQ and play-making. The veteran recently returned to the purple and gold team after his stint with the Clippers. Rondo has played most of his career for the Celtics and then for the Lakers.
Thus the four-time All-Star understands the intensity of the rivalry between the two historical teams. The Celtics and Lakers met twice in the NBA Finals during the last decade, with Rondo being part of them. At the time, Rondo played with the Celtics and won one of the two finals against the Lakers.
Ironically both the teams are tied with the most no of championships, which is seventeen. Nevertheless, the magnitude of the rivalry has decreased since the teams met last in the 2010 NBA Finals. The iconic rivalry laid its first stone when the Showtime Lakers faced Larry Bird in the 80s.
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Rondo spoke about his journey with the two respective franchises and how he is the last member of the 2008 championship team, who is still playing the game.
Rajon Rondo reflects on his journey with the Celtics and the Lakers.
Though he currently plays for the Lakers, Rondo holds a special place in the city of Boston and vice-versa. The two-time champion never understood the historic rivalry of the two franchises, having grown up in Louisville, Kentucky.
“I understood the magnitude of it once I got to the Finals,” he said. “But before then, in my first year, I didn’t understand it. Once we got to the Finals, you understood the hate, the history. My family experienced it the most, going to L.A. in my first couple of years.”
Surprisingly, one of Rondo’s top moments in the TD Garden is as a Laker. In 2019, he hit a game-winner against the Celtics. Kevin Garnett, who was in attendance, couldn’t contain his excitement and ran towards Rondo to celebrate. Rondo’s son Pierre who was also present during the game, added to the former’s happiness.
“I can’t put it too high, you know, but it’s up there,” he said. “Especially the memories of my son. He was actually here on the court with me when I hit it, so it’s a pretty big one.”
Rondo is the last player standing from that 2008 title team. Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce are already in the Hall of Fame. Kendrick Perkins has made a bigger name for himself as an analyst. Sam Cassell has been an assistant coach for years.
“It’s life. I’m on my last leg here in the league. I think I got another six years, but other than that.”
Currently, with the Lakers, his team is struggling to keep afloat. The purple and gold team haven’t been able to establish chemistry with their newly revamped roster.