Lakers Coach Hints Towards Rajon Rondo Replacing Jared Dudley as the Locker Room Leader

Published 09/23/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
Feb 1, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and guard Talen Horton-Tucker (5) reach for a rebound in front of Atlanta Hawks guard Rajon Rondo (7) in the third quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


The Lakers have brought back their old squad for a reason. They know it well how the 2019-20 roster played against the odds and made it look like an easy NBA championship journey. It was a balanced team of elite defense, big players, dependable shooting hands, locker room leadership, and youngsters to back the bench.

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And now, that equilibrium is almost back with a mixture of former and new (yet old) names. One such big name with his upcoming second inning for the Lakers is Rajon Rondo. So where would he fit in this squad full of All-Stars?

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Lakers coach has an assured job role for Rajon Rondo

This off-season, the Lakers lost Jason Kidd (Asst. coach) and Jared Dudley (Bench leader) to the Dallas Mavericks. So now, they especially lacked a strong and tactful voice inside the locker room, someone as influential as Dud. But with Rajon Rondo back in his #9 jersey, this problem is soon to see a new solution.

Recently, the 48-YO coach agreed to this in an interview and called Rajon “a key locker room guy”. Rondo has always accepted the aspirations of someday donning the role of an NBA coach and this can become his chance to start as a true leader.

Just as coach Vogel added, “For you guys (the media)? I don’t know who’s going to pick up the slack Dudz brought to the table for you guys (laughs). But internally, we’ve got some guys… I think Rondo coming back can be a real positive voice from a guy who’s not going to play as much, but can really impact our team with his leadership.”

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Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Dismisses the Narrative about the Older Players on the Roster

about 1 month ago

Fewer playing minutes for Playoff R?

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As the Lakers Nation coach hinted that Rajon Rondo would not get to play much, it became obvious that his regular-season role would be smaller. The last time he played for the Lake Show, he averaged 25 mpg (going down to 20.4 with the Clippers). But given that Playoff Rondo & Anthony Davis were exceptional as a duo in the postseason 2020, he deserves a major role later in the season. 

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Now, although coach Vogel’s rotation has been under question, this strategy sounds accurate. The Lakers have Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Kendrick Nunn to take care of the backcourt. Rondo can have his clutch minutes, but his minutes are certainly not a big emergency for this stacked squad. 

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True, the playmaking and IQ of Rajon would be beneficial but it will come as a strategy and not a desperate need. So are you on the same page with coach Frank Vogel or do you agree to disagree? Help us know in the comments below.

Watch this story – Rajon Rondo’s Shower Obsession and Other Bizarre Pre-NBA Rituals of Star Players

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Sourabh Singh

1717 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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