Season Goals: Rajon Rondo’s Consistency and Attitude

SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 9: DeMarcus Cousins (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 9: DeMarcus Cousins (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Since being traded from the Boston Celtics in mid-December 2014, Rajon Rondo has been part of many mopy and schismatic locker rooms. All while playing some of the most inconsistent and chancy basketball this side of Derrick Rose.

With the Dallas Mavericks, the team he was traded to, this inconsistency caused a team with a win percentage of 70.4% and a +7.8 net-rating in their first 27 games, to a 56.4% win percentage and +.7 net-rating team in their final 55 games.

He had screaming matches on and off the floor with head coach Rick Carlisle, possessed a terrible -3.21 RPM on the year, and was unplayable in the Mavs playoff series loss against the Houston Rockets. Carlisle ultimately benched Rajon Rondo in the final three games of the series after his lackluster performance in the first.

But, being that Rondo still had a 2.3 BPM with the Boston Celtics, the Sacramento Kings signed Rondo to a one-year, 9.5 million dollar contract in free agency. Although Rondo’s per game numbers did come back, averaging 11.9 points, six rebounds, and 11.7 assists, he did not at all contribute to a successful basketball team, with the Kings going 33-49, with a net-rating of -2.4.

And sure, Rondo did develop a positive relationship with DeMarcus Cousins, who he now gets to play with again, but according to Rondo, the Kings locker room was the tensest he had ever seen in his ten year NBA career.

Being that the Sacramento Kings took home Tas Melas and The Starters’ coveted Worst of the Year award in 2015-2016, it was not at all a positive experience for Rondo.

Rondo still put up pretty good numbers with the Kings, however, so once again another misguided team decided to take a chance on him. This time it was the Chicago Bulls, who signed him to a two year, 27 million dollar contract. In 2016-2017, Rondo put up a complete dud of a season, with a -1.84 RPM, and once again, Rondo faced problems in the locker room.

From December 31 to January 9, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg gave Rondo five straight DNPs, and for the next 27 games, Rondo came off the bench.

According to Bulls insider KC Johnson, Rondo’s explanation from the team is that they were “[saving] him from himself,” an explanation that Rondo thought was “(expletive).”

Rondo also feuded with the team’s best players, Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade. When Butler and Wade made comments about the team’s poor work ethic, Rondo released a manifesto explaining how his vets in Boston would never throw their own teammates under the bus by “[going] to the media.”

Of course, Rondo wrote this on Instagram, which he must have confused with his personal diary. Either that or he is an egregious hypocrite.

And after the Bulls anti-climactic playoff loss against the Boston Celtics, where Rondo actually proved to be valuable until breaking his thumb before game three, the Bulls went into full rebuilding mode. They traded Butler for prospects and waived Rondo on June 30.

The New Orleans Pelicans then signed Rondo to a cheap one year, 3.3 million dollar contract.

Now Rondo is on his fifth team in four years, losing most of the credibility he once had as an All-Star point guard. Unless he can prove to be an asset both in and out of the locker room for the New Orleans Pelicans, this may be Rondo’s final chance as an NBA player.

Next: Could DeMarcus Cousins follow in Russell Westbrook’s footsteps?

For Rondo’s sake, he should look to seize the opportunity by adjusting his attitude in the locker room and becoming a consistent contributor on the court.