Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo opened up about Anthony Davis rumors affecting the team and the 2018-19 season.
In a story for Bleacher Report, Rondo discussed the period after Davis requested a trade from New Orleans and Los Angeles staff worked to get the star. Davis, a six-time All-Star, requested a trade before the deadline. The Pelicans then decided to sit him out of fourth quarters to make sure he stayed healthy ahead of the offseason. When Davis requested a trade, the Lakers offered a large group of core young talent in exchange.
The move made some players uncomfortable, according to Rondo.
"Even some of the old guys were affected," Rondo said. "I can't say a name, but I remember me and the guy were on the bench for the Atlanta game right before the [All-Star] break. The guy was cussing and talking bad about the situation during the game. I was like: 'Snap out of it. That s--- is over with. We'll get through it. As vets, we have to move forward and not focus on what the young guys are focusing on. Set an example.' It was a little crazy to see a vet distraught over that."
The uncertainty was also compounded by Lakers star LeBron James publically expressing approval about potentially playing with Davis, especially with James' agent Rich Paul also representing Davis.
"Every guy on our team, LeBron was their favorite player growing up," Rondo says. "Everyone had the shoes, his jersey. You're the biggest fan in the world. It's like you're playing with MJ, and then you get there, and it's like your mom and dad, or the person that you looked up to and idolized, doesn't want you. And then to have that sitting in your gut, not knowing.
Rondo also talked about team president of basketball operation Magic Johnson's surprise exit, calling it a "such a distraction, you really couldn't focus."
But overall, the veteran Rondo said the season wasn't crazy to him: "I think we held it together as best as possible."