How A Mavs Quitter Became 'Playoff Rondo'

Mike Fisher

DALLAS - To the national media, the Rajon Rondo "revelation'' that he "almost retired'' a few years ago after his sour experience in Dallas is headline-worthy in a stand-alone way.

To people who know the Mavericks, though, the idea of Rondo as a quitter is no revelation of all.

Rondo is an NBA champion once again, having surfed on the coattails of LeBron James to win the 2020 title. At 34, he's once again being labeled "Playoff Rondo.'' as he was back in 2008 when he helped the Celtics to the title.

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But in Dallas? The stench he created will never go away.

Via ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (and relayed by SN Nation): “He told me he almost retired a few years ago because when the catastrophe in Dallas happened between him and Rick Carlisle and we can assign all kinds of blame for that.''

In truth, by the time he literally quit on his team in the middle of a Mavs-Rockets playoff game in Houston, we can only assign one kind of blame.

Rondo quit.

At different points of the season, Rondo simply ignored the instructions of his coach, as here ...

And later ... topping his impudence and arrogance ... he just quit.

His failures in Dallas following what the Mavs thought was a blockbuster trade with Boston were not about numbers. the 9.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.2 steals in 46 games do not tell the story.

The number that tells the story is the dollar-figure playoff share teammates opted to vote him in on.

That number is zero.

“He said that only two teams called him that offseason, and that he was sort of thinking, ‘Well maybe I just don’t want to do this anymore.'' Nichols reported. "He could have been out of basketball.”

What Rondo did in a Mavs uniform remains one of the most selfish and insulting scenes in NBA history. So let the record show: Congratulate him for his revitalization if you wish. But understand that the reason teams quit calling Rajon Rondo is because Rajon Rondo quit his team.