On Tuesday, Rajon Rondo officially announced his retirement from the NBA, marking an end to what was a successful career for the genius floor general. Rondo has long been revered in NBA circles for his knowledge of the game, and one of his smartest teammates ever, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, gave him his flowers following the Purple and Gold's 128-111 win over the Toronto Raptors.

Speaking to reporters, James praised Rondo for being one of his greatest teammates ever (no mean feat) while shedding light on the promise the retired floor general have as to what would happen when the two teamed up, which materialized for the Lakers in 2020.

“One of the best players I ever played with. Obviously, his IQ is out of this world. I was very lucky to get to team up with him at that point when I was in LA. Being in LA, and him coming to the Lakers, I was ecstatic about it. Do always talked about if he ever teamed up with me, he knew we could win a championship. And we did that,” James said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

The Lakers' signing of Rajon Rondo in 2018 raised eyebrows; at that point, the tried and tested formula for how to optimize LeBron James' talent is to put shooters around him. Shooting isn't exactly Rondo's strong suit, so putting him alongside James was a curious fit.

But during the 2020 NBA bubble, Rondo stepped up big time for the Lakers. His control and reading of the game was near-unparalleled, and to top it all off, he was even making open threes during that playoff run. Simply put, he was a crucial piece for LeBron James and company when they won the NBA championship under the difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Rajon Rondo and LeBron James — fierce rivals turned allies

Rajon Rondo and LeBron James faced off in the playoffs a total of four times, twice when James was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and twice as a member of the Miami Heat. In 2008 and 2010, it was Rondo's Boston Celtics that knocked James out from championship contention. This certainly contributed to James' decision to take his talents to South Beach in the summer of 2010.

With the Heat, James then vanquished his Celtics demons. In 2011, they handily took care of business against Rondo and company. But in 2012, Rondo played the best basketball of his career, going toe-to-toe with the famous Heat big three and nearly knocking them out in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Rajon Rondo then treaded water from 2012 to 2018 (suffering a torn ACL, going through a tumultuous stint in Dallas, journeying from Chicago to New Orleans) before latching on with LeBron James and the Lakers, winning one more championship 12 years after reaching the pinnacle of team success in his sophomore campaign.

Rondo's legacy — a genius, if temperamental, floor general

Rajon Rondo butted heads with a few players and coaches during his 16-year NBA career. He most notably beefed with Doc Rivers and Ray Allen during his Celtics days and then he infamously quit on the Dallas Mavericks during the 2015 NBA playoffs after not seeing eye-to-eye with Rick Carlisle.

But he and LeBron James got along quite well on the court with the Lakers, with the two appreciating each other's understanding of the game. This relationship is built out of mutual respect, with James wishing nothing but the best for his former adversary turned friend.