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The truth behind Rajon Rondo-Chris Paul beef, per Tyronn Lue

Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Tyronn Lue, Clippers, Suns

When discussing rivalries in the NBA, the league’s superstars almost always dominate the headlines. One of the longest-running feuds, however, is the one between LA Clippers guard Rajon Rondo and Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul.

Rondo and Paul have been going at it for years, and very clearly remind us every few years how much they don’t like one another. It all started with the naming of the 2008 Team USA roster. Rajon Rondo was coming off an NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics while Chris Paul was coming off another playoff shortcoming. Paul was named to the team, Rondo was not.

The two got into verbal exchanges on the court over the years, but things really boiled over when the Houston Rockets visited the Los Angeles Lakers during Paul’s tenure in Houston.

LA Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue, who has coached both players over the years, was asked about the dynamic between the two players and why they don’t like each other at all even years after the origin of their feud.

“I think when you play against yourself, you’re always going to have a problem,” Lue explained. “And I think those are two throwback point guards who hate to lose and compete at a high level and dominate the game with their pass. They just hate to lose.”

In a matchup just a few weeks ago, Rondo and Paul could clearly be seen jawing back and forth at one another throughout the night as the Clippers blew out the Suns. After the game, Rajon Rondo even found a way to slip in a jab at Paul, only calling him ‘No. 3 on the other team.’

Lue adds that part of the dislike for one another is the competitive nature and similarities in their games.

“They’re really the same person, so I think when you’re competing against yourself, you’re gonna have controversy and that’s kind of what happened with those two guys. I know the respect is there for sure, because of what both of those guys have done in the league and throughout the course of their careers. Both those guys hate losing and compete at a high level.”

Additionally, Paul George has talked about Devin Booker and the ‘chirping’ that the Suns have been doing since the bubble last year. Now that Paul has teamed up with Booker and Rondo was traded to the Clippers, it appears the animosity between both teams is ready to reach new heights.

Heck, George didn’t even want to talk about Chris Paul’s 25-point second half performance after last night’s game.

If this season has been any indication, a Clippers-Suns playoff series might be the most intriguing head-to-head outside of a potential Lakers-Clippers series.