|Sacramento Kings' Instagram|
Fresh off his trip to Las Vegas where he met up with some of his new teammates and coach during an NBA Summer League game, Rajon Rondo is ready to begin the next chapter of his life and professional career.
The former Celtics captain, who was met by a cluster of media on Monday afternoon made one thing very clear when asked about the Sacramento Kings and their potential heading into this upcoming season.
The Kings officially signed the four-time all-star point guard on Tuesday morning to a one-year $10 million deal. With all the hype surrounding George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins, Rondo remained positive despite the nay-sayers thinking some players including Rondo as well will butt-heads because of past indiscretions.
"I've been basically challenged my whole life," said Rondo. "It is what it is. A lot of people didn't expect me to come this far in the NBA. I have no doubts about what my talents can do. Life is about handling adversity and I've dealt with a little bit of adversity this past season." [ESPN]
Rondo was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in late December last year where he was expected to be the missing link for a long-playoff run, but was never quite the right fit in coach Rick Carlisle's system. As his stock dropped in this year's free agency, he agreed to join the Kings for one year.
Even though it didn't end so great in Dallas, Rondo had nothing but kind words to say about his former team. Going as far as saying he'll value his friendships with Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, among others that were built in the short time he spent with the Mavericks.
As for his new coach, George Karl, rumblings will continue about his future with the team, but for now it looks like he will stay put. Rondo did happen to point out about how Karl has been able to coach strong-willed guards in the past, including the likes of Gary Payton, Sam Cassell, Allen Iverson, Chancey Billups and even the quiet Andre Miller.
If anyone is up for the challenge, George Karl is a man who's been there and done that.
"It's going to be fun coaching him," Karl said about Rondo. "I think he wants to lead our team but he also wants to be part of the decision-making. That can be somewhat combustible but it can also work on a high level because I think we're all trying to make the team the best." [ESPN]
|Sacramento Kings' Instagram|
The Kings have been quite busy since July 1, and besides inking Rondo (2008 champion with the C's), they've also signed Caron Butler (2011 champion with the Mavs), Marco Belinelli (2014 champion with the Spurs) and back-up big man Kosta Koufos to go along with Cousins and Rudy Gay. This could be the year that Sacramento can push towards a playoff berth for the first time since 2006.
"I'm excited that everyone is doubting us," Rondo added. "All the negative energy that's going towards Sacramento as far as me coming and playing with Cousins and the George Karl thing. I think that's pretty much blown out of proportion. There's been a lot of doubters my entire career. I just love proving people wrong." [GWashburn14 on YouTube]
Looks like another team has been added to the watch list as far as NBA League Pass subscribers goes. Whether the Kings are playoff bound or not, it remains to be seen, but Rondo seems like he's in the right place as far as a having a fresh start. It should be interesting going forward.
To view Rondo's entire interview on joining the Kings, check out the video below:
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