There’s a lot of reasons why the Lakers stink this season, but the most glaring is the LeBron James and Rajon Rondo pairing.
On a night when LeBron James passed Micheal Jordan as the NBA’s fourth-leading scorer of all-time, Rajon Rondo decided to sit among the fans to watch the rest of the Denver Nuggets demolition of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, one can look at the moment and say it was “Rondo being Rondo,” but this had a deeper meaning than Rondo probably wanting to meet 2 Chainz. Rondo not sitting with his team, absorbing yet another Lakers loss in a deteriorating season, perfectly illustrates one of the most glaring problems on a team full of them.
Before the game, NBC Sports Tom Haberstroh tweeted a stat that didn’t get as much attention at it should have. When James and Rondo are on the court together, the Lakers plus-minus for the season was -55, which dipped to -62 after last night’s lethargic performance against Denver.
Think about that for a moment.
If you want to put that into more perspective, their offensive rating per 100 possessions is 100.6 when those two are on the court, an eight-point drop from when it’s just LeBron on the floor.
A lot of fun has been poked at LeBron’s younger core, but when James is playing with Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball, they’re actually a winning team. It’s the veteran Rondo who has had a tough time meshing his game with The King, and the end result has been a living nightmare Lakers’ fans have had to witness this season.
Which makes that “Rondo being Rondo” moment stand out more. It may not be a big deal for Rondo, but it shows just his game just doesn’t fit with LeBron nor with the current Laker core. If I was that bad with one of the greatest NBA players to lace em’ up, I wouldn’t want to sit near him, either.