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Decoding Rajon Rondo’s Interview With Rachel Nichols

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NBA free agency begins July 1, which means it’s time for Rajon Rondo to pick a new team. After tumultuous stints in Dallas and Sacramento, the former Celtic is ready to settle down again, and he’s embarked on a media tour to sell himself to potential suitors. (Perhaps he got the idea from Dwight Howard.) The first stop was a sit-down with Rachel Nichols on ESPN’s The Jump, and it didn’t disappoint. Rondo was both candid and cautious, casting pointed but vague aspersions on the 2015–16 Kings. Let’s translate what Rondo said into what Rondo actually meant (WRAM).

“[Sacramento] wasn’t too bad.”

WRAM: Aside from the basketball, I greatly enjoyed my time there.

“There were too many distractions on and off the court.”

WRAM: Vivek would walk around the facility muttering “Calipari? Calipari!” the same way he used to wonder aloud about Nik Stauskas. He still hasn’t recovered from Coach Cal’s “New phone, who dis?” text.

“The organization, as a whole, I don’t think was together completely.”

WRAM: Our minority owners were trying to stage a coup. Of course this turned out to be a pipe dream.

“It was a couple leaks in the locker room.”

WRAM: How the hell did Chris Mannix know more about our practices than the players?

“As a team you have to want the best for the next man beside you, and that wasn’t the case with the Sacramento Kings.”

WRAM: The only way our locker room could have been more dysfunctional is if Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton had been in the mix.

On the relationship between DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl: “Too much tension. I’ve never witnessed or experienced a thing like that in my 10-year career.”

WRAM: Boogie and Coach Karl loathed each other more than Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi. I tried to play peacemaker, but you can do only so much:

“[Cousins] has to find other ways to get it done. He’s going to continue to grow and learn. I was just glad I was able to be in his life and have a little bit of influence and help him a little bit this year.”


“I want to see myself in a situation where guys want to grow, guys want to get better. I don’t want to be the hardest-working guy in the gym.”

WRAM: How do you expect me to improve when I have only Seth Curry and Omri Casspi to get shots up with?

“Selfless teammates — that’s the most I can ask for going into this free agency: to get around guys that want to be around one another.”

WRAM: It’s been real, Sacramento. I should have paid attention to Wes and Monta.