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"I know he's looking to destroy me": LA Lakers' Rajon Rondo jokes about competing with teammate Russell Westbrook

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers
Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers

The LA Lakers’ returning star Rajon Rondo spoke in length about his team’s chances of winning the NBA championship in the upcoming season during the Lakers’ media day.

Rondo, who played an important role in the LA Clippers’ run to the Western Conference Finals last season, recently completed his move to their cross-city rivals Lakers. Rondo spoke in detail about his competitiveness with respect to another Lakers’ new acquisition Russell Westbrook, and claimed that the roster is one of the most talented that he has ever been a part of. Rondo jokingly also claimed that Westbrook is always trying to “destroy” him during training in the same way as he tries to destroy him.

Rajon Rondo on the competitive nature between him and Russell Westbrook: "I know he's looking to destroy me. Likewise, I'm looking to destroy him."

Rajon Rondo jokes about competition with Russell Westbrook, says the LA Lakers roster is one of the best he has been part of

Rajon Rondo won the second championship on his career with the LA Lakers in 2019. He has since had stints with the Atlanta Hawks and the LA Clippers, and has been brought into a seasoned roster that is expected to make a serious run for the title this season.

Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets - Game Three
Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets - Game Three

In fact, the LA Lakers are considered second most-likely after the stacked Brooklyn Nets to win the championship. Rajon Rondo seemed to agree:

“We have what it takes to win. Anything less would be a failure. This is one of the most talented teams I’ve ever played on. The energy and the chemistry already seem to be set in stone. Guys are ready to sacrifice to play with each other. A lot of these guys have been friends for a long time. Regardless of maturity level or age, we still have one of the most talented teams I’ve ever played for.”
Rondo on LeBron on knowing how to win championships, and what it takes on a roster: "He has the blueprint. Not many guys (do)." Rondo added that he has the blueprint as well.
Rajon Rondo said he prides himself on being able to control a locker room and get the best of players around him, and added of this 2021-22 roster:“Regardless of maturity level or age, we still have one of the most talented teams I’ve ever played for."

Considering the amount of talent that the LA Lakers boast, Rondo can be forgiven for thinking the above. The four-time All-Star was also asked about his teammates. He claimed to be competing with Russell Westbrook, especially on a daily basis, and singled out a particular LeBron James characteristic that he thought was unique:

“I love competing against Russ, I know he's going to bring it every night. I know he's looking to destroy me. Likewise, I'm looking to destroy him. It's not a secret, I don't think I'd be here without the stamp of approval from those guys (LeBron and AD). LeBron has the blueprint to win championships. Not many guys (do).”
“This is one of the most talented teams I’ve ever played on. The energy and the chemistry already seem to be set in stone. Guys are ready to sacrifice to play with each other. A lot of these guys have been friends for a long time.” -Playoff Rondo https://t.co/oWnDCZVmAo

Hence, Rondo hopes to compete on a daily basis with Russell Westbrook, and claimed that LeBron and Anthony Davis’ approval for a move played a huge role in him returning to the Lakers. The upcoming season promises to be a cracker, with two of the most-stacked teams seen in recent years expected to end up competing for the ring.


Also Read: What teams did Rajon Rondo win championships with?

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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