Rondo hoping for return to Lakers — ‘I am solely 33’

LOS ANGELES — After changing into the primary Los Angeles Lakers participant since Magic Johnson in 1989 to register 17 assists and 5 steals in a sport, Rajon Rondo stated he hoped to stay round L.A. somewhat longer.

“Completely,” Rondo advised ESPN when requested if he wished to come back again to the Lakers subsequent season. “Completely. I imply, the one means we are able to go from right here is up.

“So, I do not know what the long run holds so far as the summer time — if I come again, or who else comes again or if I do not come again. These issues are out of my management. However on the identical time, it is a terrific group. I am unable to say sufficient concerning the workers and the individuals who work right here. They’re actually variety and useful, so I need to proceed, if I can, assist this group develop.”

Rondo reached his season excessive in assists in a 129-115 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday — the Lakers’ third victory of their previous 4 video games after being eradicated from postseason competition per week in the past.

LeBron James had 27 factors and 9 assists, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 25 factors and the Los Angeles Lakers ended the Charlotte Hornets’ four-game profitable streak with a 129-115 victory on Friday night time.

He’s ending out a one-year, $9 million cope with the Lakers however stated there have been discussions between him, his agent Invoice Duffy and the Lakers final summer time about coming to L.A. on a multiyear dedication.

“We talked about it,” Rondo stated. “So far as long run, possibly not like a six-year deal, however you understand, I am solely 33.”

Due to a three-game suspension from a fracas with the Houston Rockets within the Lakers’ residence opener and two hand accidents, Rondo has missed 34 of the Lakers’ 76 video games this season — one of many hand accidents leaving a everlasting scar after he underwent surgical procedure.

“S—, that is simply a part of the sport,” he stated of the vestige of the place he went underneath the knife.

Will that scar be a everlasting reminder of how this season with the Lakers unfolded?

“If I play one other eight years, no, but when I play one or two, I’d keep in mind it,” he stated. “However that is simply a part of it. I obtained via it. It is a part of the battle. A part of the grind. And it occurred for a cause.”

Rondo’s voice trailed off, earlier than his face flashed a sly grin.

“I do not know what [that reason is]. … However the man upstairs, you understand, he is obtained loads to do with it,” Rondo stated.

Rondo has been credited with maintaining the Lakers on monitor, even when the playoffs are out of the query.

“The youth look as much as us, take a look at us as superheroes at instances, so to have the ability to have that enjoyable and that pleasure we hope it goes again to these guys and to the youngsters that look as much as us,” LeBron James stated of the Lakers’ strategy in opposition to the Hornets. “Rondo, his vitality and him simply having enjoyable and being the chief that he’s [is invaluable].”

And Lakers coach Luke Walton echoed James when requested about his level guard this week.

“Management,” Walton stated. “His management has been nice. He desires to play on a regular basis. I believe he units a terrific instance for the youthful guys and he is watching movie earlier than each sport, throughout video games. Off days he is within the fitness center on daily basis engaged on his craft, learning his opponent. … It is nice to have that round when you’ve as many younger guys with their eyes on every part, studying from every part.”

He has missed too many video games to qualify for the leaderboard, however Rondo’s 7.9 assists per sport common ranks him fifth within the league — tied with Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Younger.

Rondo moved into 19th in all-time assists this week, passing Man Rodgers, and is 16 from passing Bob Cousy (6,955) for 18th. He ranks fourth amongst energetic gamers behind Chris Paul, James and Tony Parker.

“I will attempt to replicate somewhat bit extra,” Rondo stated of the accomplishment. “Clearly I am older now. However, like I stated, I nonetheless plan on taking part in one other 4, 5 years and hopefully whenever you’ve performed that lengthy, issues like that occur. With the ball being in my hand, me being a degree guard, led the league a pair years in assists. These form of issues simply occur. My predominant focus is clearly getting again to the playoffs and being a contender.”

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