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Rajon Rondo says he was joking about relationship issues with George Karl

Sacramento Kings point guard Rajon Rondo retracted earlier comments saying his relationship with head coach George Karl has been turbulent. 

After Sacramento Kings point guard Rajon Rondo acknowledged to Cowbell Kingdom that his relationship with head coach George Karl is off to a rocky start, he retracted his comments on Wednesday.

“Anyone that knows me, I have a dry sense of humor. I can keep a straight face when I’m joking,” Rondo told reporters, according to James Ham. “Nothing between George and I.”

Ham reported that Karl addressed the earlier comments as well on Wednesday, saying, “You’re being tricked. Rondo is hilarious. My relationship is so good, if it gets better, I’d get scared.”

Karl continued, “Rondo and I are going to have a lot of fights, we’re going to have a lot of discussions, but it’s never been a problem.”

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These comments stem from a postgame interview after the Kings’ 107–100 preseason win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday where Rondo said he has been enjoying getting to know his new teammates, but that his relationship with Karl hasn’t been smooth.

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“It’s not been going too well,” Rondo said. “We’ve gotten into some arguments in the last couple days. Hopefully we continue to talk and get better.”

After joining the Kings this off-season on a $10 million deal, Rondo said he thought he and Karl were “a great fit.” 

Rondo, a four-time All Star, has a history of butting heads with his coaches. After Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle benched Rondo in a playoff loss to the Houston Rockets in April, Rondo stayed away from the team for the remainder of the series. He was also suspended for one game in February for arguing with Carlisle after being benched.

Rondo averaged 8.9 points and 7.9 assists in 68 games last season. 

The Kings will play their final preseason game on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans before opening the regular season on Oct. 28 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

- Erin Flynn