KEY POINTS

  • The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA championship on Sunday
  • Rajon Rondo is only the second player in NBA history to win a title with the Lakers and Celtics
  • Rondo tallied a total of 105 assists off the bench throughout the 2020 playoffs

Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo made history in the NBA after becoming the second player to win a title with the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The only other one to accomplish this feat was Clyde Lovellette, who won his first championship with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1954 and two more with the Celtics in 1963 and 1964, CBS Sports reported. Lovellette had a stellar career as he was a four-time All-Star and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Celtics-Lakers rivalry is arguably the biggest and most intense in the league’s history. Over a decade ago, Rondo led the Celtics to their 17th championship banner as a young starter for the Green and White. Now, as a veteran player off the bench, he played a key role in guiding the Purple and Gold to their 17th NBA title.

Having the experienced presence of Rondo was a big part of the Lakers’ success given how much momentum the Miami Heat had throughout the playoffs.

“We have seen it before. Just watching their other series, they came back [from] down 19 or 20 in the fourth, and Rondo recognized that. And Rondo is great, you know, [a] coach and player on the court,” Lakers teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shared, NBA reported.

“He gets us in the right spots and made sure we were in the mindset of just keep attacking, finish the game and don’t let up. He enforced that tonight, and we all just bought into it, and we got the [win],” he continued.

Rondo emphasized that this title win completes a full circle as he started out as a rival of the Lakers.

“I got to compete against Kobe Bryant when I was 21,” Rondo said.

“So, his game and his legacy speaks for itself. Me being a kid from Louisville, Kentucky, to be able to compete with Kobe two years into the league, understand and learn so much from him by watching his film and studying his film, it’s definitely an honor,” he continued.

Rondo made his impact felt for the Lakers as he tallied a total of 105 assists off the bench throughout this year’s playoffs. This surpassed Manu Ginobili’s record of 95 in 2014.

“And to come full circle to win in his honor, his daughter’s honor, unbelievable season that we’ve had. And to be able to prevail and stay focused and continue to get the job done, I know something, he’s definitely smiling down on us. We’re able to fulfill our dream and succeed with the championship,” Rondo concluded.

Los Angeles reserve guard Rajon Rondo defends Miami's Jimmy Butler in the Lakers' championship-clinching victory over the Heat in game six of the NBA Finals Los Angeles reserve guard Rajon Rondo defends Miami's Jimmy Butler in the Lakers' championship-clinching victory over the Heat in game six of the NBA Finals Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Douglas P. DeFelice