Over at Bleacher Report, Ric Bucher put out a detailed piece interviewing Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo where the former Kentucky player opened up about the Anthony Davis trade saga that tortured the chemistry of the team throughout the season.
The piece is titled Rajon Rondo Unplugged and it contains several juicy details about the inner turmoil suffered in Laker Land as a result of the public trade demand by Davis and his agent Rich Paul.
In the article, Rondo discusses how it shocked him that even a veteran within the locker room was being affected by the trade rumors.
“Even some of the old guys were affected,” Rondo says. “I can’t say a name, but I remember me and the guy were on the bench for the Atlanta game right before the [All-Star] break. The guy was cussing and talking bad about the situation during the game. I was like: ‘Snap out of it. That shit is over with. We’ll get through it. As vets, we have to move forward and not focus on what the young guys are focusing on. Set an example.’ It was a little crazy to see a vet distraught over that.”
Rondo, 33, has been a member of five different NBA teams since he was traded to Dallas after nine years as a member of the Celtics. In his years throughout the league, he said he’s become immune to the constant trade rumors that encompassed most of his time with Boston.
“Me, I’m kind of numb to it. I was in trade rumors every year in Boston. Eight straight years. You can’t really relate to it until you’ve gone through it. Not knowing the future, waking up every day—and now you’re on the phone reading stuff. When I was going through it, there wasn’t so much social media; it was just on TV. You’d hear it, or someone would text you about it, but it wasn’t so much in your face, with eight different blockbuster or proposed trades and your name in every one of them. Every Instagram scroll, you’re in it. So, psychologically, it probably took a toll…”
Take out a small chunk of your day and read the entire article. Rondo is surprisingly honest and open during a time where it feels difficult to find that kind of authenticity. He knows the reality of the league better than most. He’s endured more criticism and praise than most.
“Every guy on our team, LeBron was their favorite player growing up,” Rondo says. “Everyone had the shoes, his jersey. You’re the biggest fan in the world. It’s like you’re playing with MJ, and then you get there, and it’s like your mom and dad, or the person that you looked up to and idolized, doesn’t want you. And then to have that sitting in your gut, not knowing. Guys aren’t at the age where they can have a man-to-man conversation versus texting you. Everybody wants to text you: ‘How you doing? We cool?’ People don’t understand how to have a real conversation and talk out problems.”
His words made me realize how much we have no idea what is going on in NBA locker rooms. So many different personalities and generations mixed into one group is always going to create some level of dysfunction, it’s just a matter of how they deal with it. Undrotuntealy, sometimes the only way to learn is by experience.