Rajon Rondo re-signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason after spending last year dividing his time between the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers.
Rondo re-joining the Lakers coincided with the front office’s acquisition of Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards.
This is noteworthy, of course, because Rondo and Westbrook have had some legit beef over the years.
Among the biggest moments from the feud: Rondo’s brother getting kicked out of Game 5 of the 2020 Western Conference semis between the Lakers and Houston Rockets after heckling Westbrook and calling him “trash.” And then of course this past season, in an outing between the Hawks and Washington Wizards, when Westbrook was ejected for shoving Rondo too hard on a rebound after they sparred verbally the entire night.
On Tuesday, during the Lakers’ media day, Rondo was pressed on how he and Westbrook would handle being on the same team.
“It wasn’t between Russell and me,” he said of the pair’s beef. “It was actually with my brother. But, we’ve been competing for so long; he’s one of the ultimate competitors I’ve ever played against in my career.
“I love competing against Russ; I know he’s gonna bring it every night. I know he’s looking to destroy me. Likewise, I’m looking to destroy him. So, there’s no better feeling than playing against somebody who competes at the highest level and is always gonna bring it.”
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That falls roughly in line with what Rondo said on this topic a few weeks back.
It’s worth remembering, Rondo has never been scared to keep it real. If he truly still had issues with Westbrook, he’d say it. Mind you, this is one of the few players in the NBA not afraid to call Kawhi Leonard out to his face.
The hatchet has almost certainly been buried between Rondo and Westbrook. And that’s great news for a Lakers team that needs its vets on the same page to win a title in 2021-22.