The curious case of Rajon Rondo moves to the next phase of his career. Rondo, who gained fame as the floor general for the Boston Celtics from 2006-2014, boast a unique blend of passing and basketball IQ that haven’t been seen before since arguably Magic Johnson. He won an NBA title with the Celtics in 2008 and there, participated in four NBA All-star games. Rondo also was on two NBA All-Defensive first teams. But, the same deficiencies that held him back from being the star player the Celtics hoped he would be (lack of scoring, his highest scoring average with the Celtics is 13.7 points per game) coupled with his demanding attitude, led to Rondo being traded the Dallas Mavericks. There, Rondo wore out his welcome as he attempted to become the $100 million dollar max player he believed he was.
Summer of 2015, he signed on with the Sacramento Kings, but as before, his passing and all-around play stayed but Rondo’s lack of scoring stayed the same. Rondo is now with the Chicago Bulls, where he’s averaging 7.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game. But his play has drawn ire from Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg, in which Rondo was benched. The Bulls currently sit 16-18, in a season which Rondo, along with Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler were supposed to make the Bulls a playoff contender. But as the old saying goes, old habits die hard. Perhaps, that’s the case for Rondo.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Rondo will meet with Bulls general manager Gar Forman to discuss his immediate future and role with the Bulls. The decisions made after the meeting could loom large for Rondo’s future in Chicago as well as for Forman and Hoiberg, who are reportedly on the hot seat.
Rondo told reporters Hoiberg benched him because he has “been looking slow the last five games.” Rondo doesn’t agree, but said: “I’m Rajon Rondo. It is what it is.”
It could be a stretch that perhaps Rondo could never learn his lesson. Rondo has been on three teams in three seasons, in which for someone who had so much job security with the Celtics, may appear as if the Celtics tried to cover up for Rondo’s missteps for quite too long. If Rondo wants to go to another team, would it mean that Rondo perhaps understands that he needs a fresh start before things in Chicago gets out of hand? Or, will Rondo be a team player and realize that it’s a good chance that coach Hoiberg is right about his play. From the article, it appears Rondo doesn’t want any part of the bench.
Rondo, who was benched for the entire second half Friday in a loss to Indiana, is understandably upset with Hoiberg’s decisions, although the young coach said the point guard has carried himself well.
“He was great, very professional,” Hoiberg said of a meeting between the two on Saturday. “We talked about accepting whatever role he has and helping our guys stay ready.”
But if that role is being a bench warmer, Rondo wants no part of it. He told reporters after Saturday’s loss he will “absolutely” ask to be elsewhere if he doesn’t see any playing time.
If Rondo’s situation with the Bulls does get out of control, the Bulls may have to cut their losses and look to deal Rondo. Now, the question that begs is which team will look to trade for Rondo? Rondo is being portrayed more and more as a head coaches’ headache and the news of Rondo being benched doesn’t help his case. If Rondo keeps being a distraction, the Bulls may have no choice but to trade Rondo to a team that will accept him.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]