Is Sacramento the Best Place for Rajon Rondo?


Although it may not seem like a destination for readers looking to gain insight on the Sacramento Kings, Forbes published a really interesting article by Aliko Carter on Sacramento, and more specifically Rajon Rondo and his fit in the city.

Initially the article seems like it’s going to be yet another mainstream tear down of the Kings–anytime the 4-on-5 thing is brought up it’s hard for any Sacramento fan to remain calm and rational–but that’s not the direction Carter goes in this piece.

He instead chooses to speak on the fact that Rondo seems to thrive in a certain environment–a more chaotic one in fact. Much like the Kings happen to have right now with George Karl, DeMarcus Cousins, Vivek Ranadivé and now Rondo involved.

Carter believes that it’s not lack of ability that caused Rondo to fall from grace in Dallas, but instead just that his style and moreso personality just did not mesh with Rick Carlisle and really the entire franchise.

Dallas is a steady ship, and has been for most of the Dirk Nowitzki era. Under Mark Cuban and Carlisle, things go smoothly–mostly because neither of those figures is much of a fan of a player trying to act up, especially since Dirk is clearly the franchise player and also one of the most humble guys around the Association.

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Boston, meanwhile, was about the exact opposite of that during their title run. If Dallas was about a bunch of teammates falling in line, Boston was about guys getting as loud and proud as possible. This team had Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rondo himself, and that was just the star players!

Not to mention the man running the show was Doc Rivers–which is about as far as you can get from Carlisle on the coaching personality spectrum. That’s what Rondo was used to and equated with being a winning environment–after all, those Celtics managed to win it all in 2008.

Of course the Mavericks accomplished the same feat in 2011–there’s no one way to win in the NBA. But for Rondo, there may be just one way for him to thrive. He has to be able to be his usual, weirdly sarcastic, usually grumpy self.

Sacramento might just be the perfect place for him to do that. This franchise is going all in on the odd cast of characters Vlade Divac managed to assemble this summer, and in his credit there is a lot of talent here now.

The most common criticism of Sacramento’s offseason wasn’t the lack of talent brought in, but rather a suspicion that the personalities involved simply would not mesh. What Carter is saying in this piece is that they don’t have to–their fiery personalities might actually work out better together.

The end of his piece shares his thoughts on the Kings’ coming season, and I think they’re optimistically fair:

"Rondo and Boogie will garner their fair share of technicals, but their fiery natures and occasional disregard for referee authority will only make this team more fun to watch. Rondo never quite fit with the Mavericks as easily as he did with the Big-3-era Celtics, whose loud and dismissive personalities often rubbed other teams the wrong way. It made for great television.The Kings will allow Rondo to be himself. That’s great news for  his teammates, Kings fans and casual observers."

Great news, indeed. Watching Rondo this season should be a blast if Carter is right–maybe the Kings will have their own Big Three emerge this season.

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