On Sunday night, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo became only the second player in NBA history to earn a championship with both the Lakers and the Boston Celtics. Both organizations have the most wins in the league and have secured 17 titles, according to CBS Sports.
L.A. was able to defeat Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Finals last night with an ending score of 106-93, which capped the NBA’s longest season ever at 356 days, according to a report from ESPN.
The first player to record a championship for both rival organizations was Clyde Lovellette. Back in 1954, he secured his first title with the Minneapolis Lakers and won two more rings with well-known legend Bill Russell and the Celtics in 1963 and 1964. Due to the fact that the Lakers were in Minneapolis when Lovellette was a champion, Rondo is the first player to do so with the L.A. version of the team.
Rondo secured a ring with Boston in 2008, as the squad defeated the Lakers in the six game series. Since then, Rondo was traded to numerous teams across the nation, including the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, and the New Orleans Pelicans before he landed in Los Angeles.
The 34-year-old had an outstanding performance to help his squad secure the victory, raking in 19 points, four rebounds, and four assists last night. Rondo’s steady leadership was an aspect that did not go unnoticed by his teammates, especially by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
“He gets us in the right spots and made sure we were in the mindset of just keep attacking, finish the game and don’t let up. He enforced that tonight, and we all just bought into it, and we got the [win],” the shooting guard remarked after the competition, according to an NBA.com report.
Also per NBA.com, Rondo described the entire series for the Lakers as a tribute to the club’s legend Kobe Bryant.
“And to come full circle to win in his honor, his daughter’s honor, unbelievable season that we’ve had. And to be able to prevail and stay focused and continue to get the job done, I know something, he’s definitely smiling down on us,” he said regarding the All-Star, who passed away tragically in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter, Gigi Bryant, in late January.
The entire squad seemed to be playing for Kobe, as numerous members of the organization made comments that they were competing in his honor.
“I think Kobe and Gianna have guided this team the entire year,” Los Angeles’ general manager Rob Pelinka remarked in an Instagram story after the title victory, according to the report from ESPN.