Los Angeles Lakers: A personal apology to Rajon Rondo

(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Rajon Rondo has been tremendous for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Playoffs.

I want to first say that Rajon Rondo and I have had a rocky relationship, to say the least. When the Los Angeles Lakers first signed the future Hall of Fame point guard, it left many bewildered at the choice of pairing LeBron James with a non-shooting PG.

So many felt that matching Rondo with LeBron was asking to shrink the court for LeBron to operate from. Then the regular season happened and Rondo was a liability on the court on both ends.

Laker fans around the world could not fathom that Luke Walton would start Rondo over Lonzo Ball when the latter needed developmental minutes on the court. Eventually, the season got ruined due to injuries to every single player and the Lakers missed the playoffs.

Rondo has built a reputation as a playoff performer, so last season was a waste in terms of seeing what Rajon Rondo could bring to a championship level squad. So, when the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis and news started to come out that Davis wanted Rondo back because of their chemistry, it seemed like a rerun episode of last season with Rondo now taking minutes away from Caruso.

The season started with again poor play from Rondo on both ends of the floor with Vogel continuing to play the mercurial point guard over Caruso, who would make an instant impact from the moment he touches the floor.

Throughout the season I personally wrote pieces about how Caruso has to play more and that the Lakers have a Rajon Rondo problem. Everybody has heard of the myth of Playoff Rondo but I never believed it.

So when the NBA decided to restart in the bubble and Rondo was diagnosed with a hand injury that would keep him out until the second round of the playoffs, it seemed like the Lakers would be finally free of Rondo.

As the Lakers dispatched the Blazers in five it only confirmed what I thought about not needing Rondo and playing Caruso all of his minutes. Then, the Rockets series arrived and Vogel played Rondo practically the whole second half as the Lakers lost by double digits.

Rondo hadn’t played a single NBA minute in months but somehow was on the floor of a WCSF for 25+ minutes getting beat off the dribble and committing careless turnovers.

My biggest fear was actualized as the downfall of this championship-level roster was going to be because of the respect Rondo garnishes from LeBron, AD, and Vogel. Game 2 begins and Rondo shuts me and everybody who doubted him up with 10 points and 9 assists with a clutch three to sprinkle in a statement win.

Then Game 3 was when I realized Playoff Rondo is completely real as Rajon dropped 21 points and 9 assists on 8 for 11 shooting and 3 for 5 from three, not to mention playing elite defense on Harden.

Each three was a backbreaker for Houston as they would gladly give Rondo the space to shoot but they would just keep going in. Since that game, Rondo has been absolutely amazing on both sides of the ball, while also controlling the tempo of the game freeing LeBron of those duties so Bron can focus on just scoring.

Then the NBA Finals arrived and Rondo dropped the first double-double of the bench in a Finals game since Manu Ginobli — tallying 16 points and 10 assists on 5 of 9 shooting and 3 for 4 from three.

How the Lakers attacked Miami's zone in Game 2. dark. Next

With all that being said, I come here to apologize for doubting a future Hall of Famer and one of the best point guards of this generation. Clearly there was a method to Rondo’s madness and I didn’t see it until now and I would be more than happy to take him back for another season for his efforts this year. I’m sorry, Rajon Rondo.