Like a true professional, Rajon Rondo waited until the end of the season to air out his teammates’ grievances in 2018-2019. In speaking with Bleacher Report for an op-ed report titled “RAJON RONDO UNPLUGGED,” the four-time NBA All-Star confirmed our greatest suspicions: that midseason trade talks did in fact, stifle the young Lakers core of their everyday confidence. Rondo took it a step further by describing the recruitment of AD as the “psychological undoing” of an upward trending roster.
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“You can’t really relate to it until you’ve gone through it,” Rondo began to explain. “Not knowing the future, waking up every day—and now you’re on the phone reading stuff. When I was going through it, there wasn’t so much social media; it was just on TV.”
“You’d hear it, or someone would text you about it, but it wasn’t so much in your face, with eight different blockbuster or proposed trades and your name in every one of them. Every Instagram scroll, you’re in it. So, psychologically, it probably took a toll,” he continued, before touching on how his younger self had reacted to similar distractions (in Boston).
Nonetheless, Rondo didn’t scapegoat LeBron James for his prominent role in the midseason recruitment of Anthony Davis. Instead of focused on the need for the team to become more self-reliant, outside of his or LeBron’s proven leadership model. “No one person can have it all,” Rondo said of LeBron. “Who did he respect coming in? Who were his vets that showed him the ropes on how to be a leader?