After years of competing against each other, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook are now teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers traded for Westbrook close to the NBA Draft and signed Rondo when the Grizzlies agreed to buy out his contract, allowing him to become a free agent again.
Rondo and Westbrook were always competitors during their careers in different teams. Rondo was a key member of the Boston Celtics when Westbrook entered the league in 2008. As time went on, both players established themselves as some of the best point guards in the NBA.
As Rondo's career began to decline after his departure from Boston, Westbrook began to come into his own as a superstar. In 2017, Westbrook won the NBA MVP, after averaging a triple-double for an entire season.
The trouble began to brew between them during the 2020 NBA Bubble. The Lakers were taking on the Rockets during the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs. During the series, Rondo's brother, who was in attendance, starting heckling Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook did not take kindly to this and tried to confront him. Luckily, any kind of physical altercation between the two was avoided. But there was a belief that Westbrook and Rondo were not on good terms since then.
Rondo recently came out and said that there is no beef between him and Westbrook. In fact, he also praised the competitive spirit that Westbrook has, stating that the two have always gone toe-to-toe with each other. And now that they are teammates, they are going to push each other to be better.
"He's looking to destroy me. Likewise I'm looking to destroy him".
Rondo and Westbrook will be playing in the same position, with many expecting Rondo to come off the bench and take over the point guard role when Westbrook goes to the bench.
With the wealth of experience both these players have and the fact that they know what it likes to compete at the highest level, they are sure to push each other's games and make sure they improve at every possible chance.