As the NBA landscape has changed in regards to star and superstar players changing teams to set themselves up for a chance to win a championship, fans have voiced their opinions on how star-studded teams first started. Some may say it started when LeBron James joined the Miami Heat in 2010 which blindsided the league and fans alike. Some may say it started with the Boston Celtics being the first team to form a star-studded team as we now know as a “Big 3.”
In July of 2007, Boston made a series of trades that landed them Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to jump start one of the most historic franchises in the NBA in their search for another title. Paul Pierce at the time was the cornerstone of the franchise, and a star player in his own right, but he simply needed help. With the assistance of trades to land Garnett and Allen, and a promising point guard by the name of Rajon Rondo, the team blossomed.
The previous season (Rajon Rondo’s rookie season), Rondo shared time with guards Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West, eagerly awaiting his turn to take over as the starting point guard for the Celtics. In his rookie season, Rondo’s numbers and poise showed promise, and he soon delivered to help his team win another NBA title.
After spending 8 years with the Celtics, Rondo has since been with a new team in each offseason. He has been with the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans last season and now with the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year, $9 million contract.
A little over a decade later, the tides have turned. Rondo, now 32 years old, is taking on the role of mentor: both for younger players (which will especially valuable for Lonzo Ball) and for a team vying for a championship.
Rondo will help improve Lonzo’s game by teaching him and showing him by example, how to run an offense, be a floor general, set up teammates, and be decisive in his decision making. Rondo is the type of player that is a true student of the game of basketball and although Lonzo is a quiet guy that keeps to himself, he seems to also be very observant.
Other than merely helping Lonzo Ball, Rondo’s presence in the locker room with LeBron will help the younger players see the game of basketball from a different perspective going forward. Not to mention that both of them bring championship experience to the team.
Despite being viewed as a mentor, Rondo has also continued to keep a sharp competitive edge. Rondo understands father time is knocking on the door, and it seems like he won’t allow that to stop him from competing for a starting job - and possibly another NBA championship - with the Lakers this year.