Rajon Rondo Says He Wants to Be NBA Head Coach, GM After He Retires

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 21:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the New Orleans Pelicans handles the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers during Game Four of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs at the Smoothie King Center on April 21, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Pelicans defeated the Trail Blazers 131-123 to sweep the series 4-0.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Rajon Rondo is busy helping the New Orleans Pelicans in their 2018 playoff run. But the 32-year-old point guard recently said he wants to remain in the NBA after his career.

"I want to be a general manager, and I want to be a head coach," he told Marc Stein of the New York Times. "Definitely both."    

And his head coach, Alvin Gentry, believes he'll no doubt become an HC one day. Rondo has been "granted permission to conduct the occasional Pelicans film session or morning walk-through instead of his coaches" and is even allowed to audible the calls from the bench.

"When you have a point guard this smart, you should let him run the team," Gentry noted.

Rondo also obsessively watches game film, per Stein, to the point that the New Orleans staff consults him when drawing up game plans.

During the course of his career, Rondo has earned a reputation for challenging coaches and having something of a stubborn personality, most famously flaming out with the Dallas Mavericks in the 2014-15 season. But his current teammates seem to respect him and enjoy playing with him.

"Sometimes they don't agree, coaches and him, because he likes to do what he thinks is best for the team," forward Nikola Mirotic told Stein. "But I always say, with Pau Gasol, he's the best teammate I ever had."

"You can't go in that locker room and talk to one guy that doesn't believe in him," Gentry added. He noted that coaching Rondo isn't always easy but said: "I'd coach him again and again and again. He does respect coaching. I know that."

Superstar Anthony Davis also spoke about the impact Rondo has had on the Pelicans, per Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Scott Kushner @ScottDKushner

Anthony Davis had some interesting insight on Rondo’s impact in road games. He said Rondo makes it a point to calm the Pels down after opponents go on runs. Routinely tells them “you’re good” and says how many minutes/possessions are left in the game.

And having a great teammate like Davis has probably helped, as Bill Simmons argued on his podcast: 

The Ringer @ringer

The key to Rondo rediscovering himself was a combo of the playoffs and being partnered with one of the best players in the league. Full Podcast: https://t.co/GZxp4r6EOg https://t.co/Ct5RRlZP30

Suffice it to say, Rondo has thrived in New Orleans. During the regular season, he averaged 8.3 points, 8.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game, and his numbers took a major jump in the Pelicans' four-game sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of their Western Conference matchup. He had 11.3 points, 13.3 dimes and 7.5 boards per contest. 

Rondo is 6-0 in the playoffs the past two years, and his career postseason numbers (14.2 PPG, 9.2 APG, 6.0 RPG) trump his averages in the regular season (10.5 PPG, 8.5 APG, 4.8 RPG).

Just don't call him Playoff Rondo.

"I haven't had the best public perception my entire career," Rondo acknowledged, per Stein. "But at the end of the day, you can't deny that I'm a winner. If you look at my history, I don't think you can be a four-time All-Star just from the playoffs. I must have done something in the regular season.

"'Playoff Rondo,' I think, is a myth. But I do love the big moments."

Perhaps someday he'll enjoy them as a coach too.