Freeman Cebu Sports

Rajon Rondo retires

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

Drafted by the Phoenix Suns as the 21st pick overall during the 2006 draft, Rajon Rondo was immediately dealt to the Boston Celtics where he spent the first 8 seasons of his career.  His tenure totaled 527 games with the franchise and he was productive, leading the league twice in assists per game (2012, 2013) and once in steals (2010).

His 4,474 assists rank 4th in the Celtics’ all-time assists leaders behind Bob Cousy (6,945), John Havlicek (6,114) and Larry Bird (5,695).   With 990 steals, Rondo is third all-time on the Celtics’ steals leaders behind Paul Pierce (1,586) and yes, Bird (1,556).

With a playoff average of 10 points, 4 rebounds and 6.6 assists, he helped Boston’s starting unit of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and Pierce beat the LA Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals,

Rondo’s quick hands earned him selections to the NBA All-Defensive first team twice (2010, 2011) and twice to the All-Defensive second team (2009, 2012).

From Boston, he became nomadic as he spent a season each with the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans and then settled with the Lakers for two seasons where he won his second NBA title.

As an important role player, he helped his new team tie his old team with the most league championships with 17.  With the Lakers, Rondo made 105 assists in the 2020 playoffs, the most by a bench player, surpassing Manu Ginobili’s 95 assists in 2014.

Rondo is the second player in NBA history to win championships with the Celtics and the Lakers.  The first was 4-time All-Star Clyde Lovelette, winning his first league title with George Mikan in 1954 when the Lakers were still located in Minneapolis.  Lovelette won two titles with the Bill Russell-led Celtics in 1963 and 1964.

The following season, Rondo signed with the Atlanta Hawks but was traded to the LA Clippers before the season ended.  He returned to the Lakers in August 2021 but was dealt to Cleveland in January 2022.

After 16 seasons playing for 9 NBA teams with career averages of 9.8 points, 7.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds and logging a total of 1,091 games (957 regular season games and 134 playoff games), Rajon Rondo, at age 38, announced his retirement last April 2.

In a podcast hosted by former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Rondo said that he’s done with playing and would spend more time with his children and be a “full-time dad wherever I can be.”

He told Barnes and Jackson that “he loved every minute of it” and appreciated the brotherhood “that I was able to share and bond and grow over the years.  I’ve learned so much in this game and it’s made me the man who I am today”, Rondo added.

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