Lakers Notes: Rondo, LeBron, Vogel, Green

It wasn’t long ago that Rajon Rondo seemed destined for journeyman status, playing for six teams in five years, but now he’s a fixture on a Lakers squad that’s two wins away from an NBA title, writes Jackie MacMullan of ESPN. The veteran guard averaged a career-low 20.5 minutes per game during the regular season, but “Playoff Rondo” has been on display since he returned from a fractured thumb in August.

“I honestly believe his return to the bubble saved the Lakers’ season,” said ESPN analyst and former teammate Kendrick Perkins. “They were struggling without him. He takes pressure off LeBron (James) and (Anthony Davis), and he turns the key in the back of role players like (Kentavious) Caldwell-Pope and (Kyle) Kuzma because he’ll put them in the best position to succeed.”

Helping others succeed has been one of Rondo’s defining qualities throughout his 14-year NBA career. He has handed out more than 7,200 assists and has been an on-court strategist whom Alvin Gentry calls the smartest player he has ever coached. Rondo told MacMullan that he hopes to play four more seasons and eventually transition into a coaching or front-office job.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Rondo says of being close to his second career championship. “I want to be the best role player there is. I don’t need acknowledgement from other people on whether they consider me a winner or a great teammate.”

There’s more Lakers news to pass along:

  • Michael Lee of The Athletic reviews the six NBA Finals that James has lost and looks at how each has motivated him to become better. “There’s nothing out on the floor that I cannot do at this point in my career. That’s all because of the competition and the adversity and the losses and everything I’ve been through throughout the course of my career,” said James, who has been to the Finals in 10 of the past 14 seasons. “The best teacher in life is life experience, and I’ve experienced it all.”
  • Long-time coach Rick Pitino believes his former graduate assistant, Frank Vogel, has been an ideal leader for the Lakers, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. “It’s a player’s league, and he’s with two of the top five players,” Pitino said. “Frank is the perfect coach for those two guys and the team. He’s going to do all his work behind the scenes, get them ready, never be on camera, never get any credit. And he wants it that way. His perfect scenario is them winning a championship, never mention his name and get ready for next season.”
  • Danny Green sounds determined to play in Game 3 despite his injured hip, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “I’m not worried about my body,” Green said. “I’ll worry when it’s over… We’ll see tonight how it goes.”
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16 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Rondo, LeBron, Vogel, Green

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    Truth is AD and Bron are two of top 5 players in NBA. Plus they are team players. With solid vets around them. I know I didn’t give this enough credit. Lakers showed up and played. Where other faltered or broke down. Gotta give them their due. Always been a big Rondo guy. So I’m glad for him. One of best 2 way players of his generation. Who never gets his due respect. Rondo is top ten in playoffs career ast. He could make top five after this series. Playoff Rondo is a real thing.–is-real-los-angeles-lakers-western-conference-finals-denver-nuggets/1ioi7raczlef816x2gxa8xh2sl

    • imindless

      Werent you the same guy that picked clippers, nuggets and heat over them? Lol funny to see all of you backtracking like you knew Lebron was gonna win

      • GoLandCrabs

        Guess he finally realized stars win in this leauge and stopped obsessing with depth and fake superstars like Pandemic P.

      • x%sure

        Funny to see you with “Lebron was gonna win”. Not even Lakers were gonna win. You used to be like, “I hate to see Lebron on the Lakers!”

    • mlbnyyfan

      Only because Lakers have LBJ. How good is Kerr without Curry and Klay. Coaches still need great players to win. Riley never wins without Magic and Jackson never wins without Kobe and MJ.

  2. Dodgethis

    Lebron and davis are not two of the top 5 players. What a joke. Without the shortened season and the bubble they don’t make the finals. Same with the heat. Everyone knows this is an asterisk year and any championship won will always be regarded that way.


    In no order all are better. Get over the obsession with los Angeles. It’s a garbage city with garbage players. Propaganda city where nothing is real, including the sports team. King of the travel lebron james is a manufactured star.

    • x%sure

      Psst: two of your guys didn’t even suit up. Kawhi was lost on his own team like Tatum, Jokic was thwarted by Dwight and got tired like Embiid, Giannis is incomplete like Simmons…

      Doncic, James, Davis top three, Lakers #1, bitter pills!

      • Curtisrowe

        Yeah, I mean who knew you didn’t have to actually play to be one of the top 5 players?

    • GoLandCrabs

      Death, taxes and Warriors fans having derangement on every Lakers article. “Shortened season” is a weak narrative. 71/82 games is more than enough to determine the standings. Asterisk and “they dont make the finals without the bubble” is even weaker. So the fans of the inferior teams are going to beat the Lakers while their teams can’t? LOL Clippers get booed at their own home games against the Lakers. AD is without a doubt a top 5 player and the only person you listed who was actually better was KD before his massive injury. The fact you listed Jokic shows your just trolling. I have news for you LA and San Francisco are awfully similar too. Keep punching the wall Lakers are the best team in California and the 2020 NBA Champs.

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      This list, excluding both AD and LBJ, is ridiculous.

      Whether LBJ is top 5 all-time (at this moment) is debatable. There’s no question he’s top 5 active. Just ask Jokic.

    • imindless

      The same Jokic they got shut down by ad? The same giannis that lost to the heat who are down 2 games to lakers? Hahahaha can’t wait for warriors to be at full health and still not make playoffs!

  3. Curtisrowe

    Rondo is awesome. The guy does things that very few guys in the NBA can do, and to top it off he literally DGAF.

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