After a summer of mixing and moving, the Los Angeles Lakers are right back at the top of the basketball world, with a roster full of talent, experienced veterans, and guys ready to compete for a title.
And while they certainly have a lot going for them, this upcoming season is going to pose some tough challenges.
In a chat with Jacob Rude of Silver Screen & Roll, Rajon Rondo opened up about what kind of mindset he will have throughout this new season.
“You can’t pick and choose when you want to be a leader,” he said. “You have to show up every day. Guys are watching, young and old, and you’re being critiqued or judged. Regardless of the outcome of how you feel that morning, you try to show up and be consistent. No one likes a guy that just talks about it. You do it with your work, you do it with your discipline and your consistency.
So for me, the most important part is understanding that I don’t know it all and I’m a willing listener, and I can learn from Malik Monk or Trevor Ariza,” Rondo added. “So having an open mindset and not being closed off and thinking you know it all is I think a big key to being a leader, and I think something I’ve grown from in my past.”
Rondo, 35, is a 15-year veteran with stints in Boston, Dallas, Sacramento, Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta, and (of course) Los Angeles.
After helping the Purple and Gold win a Championship in 2020, he joined the Clippers last season, with the goal of helping them rise up as true contenders in the West.
Unfortunately, Rondo wasn't able to play up to his usual standards in a Clippers jersey, and it became clear right away that he wasn't going to stay for long.
Once he found himself a free agent again, he admitted himself that he never considered going anywhere else but back to the Lakers:
No other considerations. This was the spot for me, yes sir.
They have talked to me about roles with this team, and what they look forward to me bringing to the team this year, versus the past couple of seasons.
Just being ready when my number is called. Obviously, we have a lot of depth at the point guard position. Understanding that I'm not going to be playing as much as I would like, or possibly want to, but at the same time being a mentor for young guys... just doing what I do best.
Rondo averaged 7.6 points and 5.8 assists per game for the Clippers last season.