Los Angeles Lakers GM Reveals How Rajon Rondo Fought Through Hardships in the NBA Bubble

Published 11/03/2020, 1:00 PM EST


Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis might have been the poster boys for the Los Angeles Lakers title season, but there were other key performers too. Among them was Rajon Rondo, who truly lived up to his ‘Playoff Rondo’ nickname in the bubble.

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Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) looks on during warmups before game three of the 2020 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

But Rondo went through a lot of problems prior to and also in the bubble. GM Rob Pelinka recently spoke about how he came back strong from multiple setbacks and how the players stuck together through everything.

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Pelinka said, “Before he gets in the bubble, he has a friend that passes away. So we had a journey with him through that. Then he gets in the bubble, and he’s playing and he breaks his hand. So he’s got to leave the bubble, then come back in, quarantine, rehab, and have surgery.

“And then boom, he hurts his back in the bubble.  And I think the Lakers and our players we just stuck together. We rode through those trials. And I think it’s what helped us to be so strong you know, to end up on top.”

Will Rondo return to the Los Angeles Lakers?

Despite all those hardships, Rondo delivered a masterclass throughout the playoffs. Compared to the regular season, he improved in points, rebounds, assists, steals, field goal % and 3pt %. His hustle and leadership off the bench were vital to the Lakers playoff run, and they could not have won without him.

Because of those performances, the Lakers might end up losing him in Free Agency. The 34-year-old has a player option for just $2 million, which he is very likely to decline. After that impressive playoff campaign, he will command better offers. But luckily, the Lakers have early bird rights, so they can match up to $10 million for him.

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He may be turning 35 soon, but the Lakers shouldn’t hesitate to bring him in. Not just for his performances, but also considering the unimpressive free agency and their own cap situation. The Lakers will look forward to bringing the whole team back and have a run at retaining their title. There could be a few changes, but the core will be the same.

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Aaron Mathew

1635 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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