Rajon Rondo’s second stint with the Lakers did not last long at all. Rondo was brought back during the offseason after being bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies, who received Rondo in a trade package from the Clippers. Rondo decided to sign once again with the Los Angeles Lakers, in the hopes to recreate their 2019-20 NBA championship season, a campaign he played a big part in.
But just a few months into the season, the Lakers saw that Rondo’s performances were not at the same level as they used to be. He was playing as the backup to the Lakers’ new All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, so he had very few minutes to play. As a result, in an effort to create cap space for future arrivals, the Lakers traded Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And during his first press conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rajon Rondo may have taken a very subtle shot at Russell Westbrook.
Rondo was talking about how much he was looking forward to playing with the young core of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He took a subtle dig at Westbrook, saying that he was looking forward to playing with young stars who want to win and give it everything they have.
"Out there with teammates that care and want to win just playing hard."
Rondo may have been referencing Westbrook’s comments earlier this season when he said that he would be fine if he and the Los Angeles Lakers do not win the NBA championship.
These comments did not sit well with the Lakers’ fanbase, as Russ was brought to the team with the express intent of helping the team win the NBA championship. And his comments showed that he is not entirely focused on winning the NBA championship.
Perhaps Rondo was just being polite to his new teammates and speaking about how much he wanted to play with them. But given the recent nature of Russ’ comments, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to suggest that Rondo was taking a shot at Westbrook, especially given their prior history, even if they claimed to have settled their differences in the past.