Lakers' Rajon Rondo on Sitting Courtside: 'I Don't Know Why It's a Big Deal Now'March 7, 2019
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo defended his decision to sit in a courtside seat rather than with his teammates during the fourth quarter of Wednesday's 115-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Rondo opted to sit among the fans during the waning seconds of L.A.'s fourth consecutive loss and sixth in seven games:
According to ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk, Rondo felt the reaction was overblown, saying: "I've done it like maybe eight, 10 times this year. I don't know why it's a big deal now."
Per Youngmisuk, Rondo was also spotted sitting in a courtside seat during the Lakers' 136-94 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 5. After that game, he told the Los Angeles Times that he likes sitting in courtside seats and doesn't get to do it often at Staples Center since the seats are usually full.
There was plenty of reaction suggesting Rondo showed poor leadership, such as this tweet from Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype:
Barstool Sports furthered the narrative that Rondo sat where he did out of frustration:
However, Youngmisuk also noted that Rondo went on the court at the end of Wednesday's loss to slap hands with teammates before going to the locker room. Of course, everything Lakers players do is under the microscope, especially when the team is struggling.
L.A. is 11th in the Western Conference at 30-35, and the team finds itself 6.5 games out of a playoff spot. Things were expected to be different in LeBron James' first year with the Lakers, but they appear ticketed for a sixth straight season without playoff basketball.
Despite Wednesday's incident and the Lakers' struggles, teammates have spoken glowingly about Rondo on numerous occasions.
A four-time All-Star and one-time NBA champion, the 33-year-old has been productive when healthy, averaging 9.0 points, 7.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per game across 31 appearances.
Next up, the Lakers will face one of Rondo's former teams in the Boston Celtics on Saturday in what can only be described as a must-win.