Over the past couple of years, some fans made fun of Jared Dudley for his role with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dudley did a lot of talking, clapping, and tweeting but not a lot of playing. Then again, he was as much of an NBA Champion as everybody else, as every team needs a veteran on the trenches.
That's why, as silly as it may sound for some, Dudley was a key piece in the Lakers' locker room. And now that he's gone, Frank Vogel expects Rajon Rondo to take on his role for the future:
“For you guys (the media)? I don’t know who’s going to pick up the slack Dudz brought to the table for you guys (laughs). But internally, we’ve got some guys… I think Rondo coming back can be a real positive voice from a guy who’s not going to play as much, but can really impact our team with his leadership," Vogel said on Spectrum's Lakeshow podcast.
Rondo isn't exactly an easygoing person but he's a respected veteran who'll hold players accountable and also help them enhance their skills.
Also, he recently said that he's ready to take the backseat and not play as much as he'd like if that meant helping out the younger players:
“Yes, they have talked to me about roles with this team and what they’re looking for bringing to this team this year vs. the past couple seasons... Just being ready when my number is called," Rondo said, as quoted by Lakers Nation. "Obviously, we have a lot of depth at the point guard position. Understanding that I’m not going to play as much as I would like or possibly want to, but at the same time being a mentor for young guys like (Kendrick) Nunn, helping Westbrook in any way possible, (Talen Horton-Tucker), and just doing what I do best: Being a key locker room guy.”
Rondo has earned a tough reputation around the league but he's always been a solid teammate. Every team needs a hardnosed veteran speaking up every now and then, even if that doesn't show up on the stat sheet.