NBA Hoops

LeBron James praises Rajon Rondo after Rondo announces retirement

LeBron James praises Rajon Rondo after Rondo announces retirement

Rajon Rondo has called it quits after 16 seasons in the NBA. While he hasn’t played since the 2021-22 campaign, he made his retirement official on Tuesday.

Rondo broke into the NBA during the 2006-07 season with the Boston Celtics. The next season, he was a starter on the powerhouse Celtics team that won the world championship by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the finals.

Ten years later, Rondo signed as a free agent with, of all teams, the Lakers. A year later, he achieved a rarity when he won a ring with the Purple and Gold after previously winning it all with Boston, the Lakers’ hated ancient rivals.

The 6-foot-1 guard’s ability to push the pace, facilitate, attack the basket and make timely plays was indispensable to L.A.’s 2020 championship squad, and LeBron James greatly appreciated playing with him.

On Tuesday, James gave Rondo plenty of praise for a fantastic career.

“One of the best players I ever played with,” James said. “Obviously, his IQ was out of this world. I was very lucky to get to team up with him. … ‘Do always talked about if he ever teamed up with me, he knew we could win a championship. And we did that.”

Interesting tidbit: Rondo was drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the No. 21 pick in the 2006 NBA draft. That pick originated with the Lakers, who traded it to the Celtics in 2004 with Gary Payton and the retiring Rick Fox for Chucky Atkins, Chris Mihm and Jumaine Jones. After two more trades, that pick landed in the hands of the Suns, who dealt Rondo’s draft rights on draft day to Boston.

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