Rajon Rondo has won the second championship of his career on Sunday, as he helped the Los Angeles Lakers to a title-clinching win against the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. He now holds the esteemed record of winning a chip with both the Lakers and their arch-nemesis, the Boston Celtics.
When asked in his post-game interview what this meant to him, Rondo admitted that this served as validation for him:
“It definitely does,” Rondo said, via ESPN’s First Take. “I’ve been up 3-2 before in a series and lost. So it’s been on my mind the last four, five days, to play well for this team and win. And I put a lot of pressure on myself. I wasn’t feeling great before the game, but like I said, I know how to fight through it. Just come out and try to be aggressive, take what the defense gives me, and help my team in any way possible.”
For those in need of context, the Celtics were actually already up 3-2 in the series back in 2010 against the Lakers before L.A. won two straight games to win the title. At that time, Rondo was plying his trade with Boston, and as he described above, that series loss continues to haunt him to this very day.
It is also worth noting that the roles were reversed two years prior. Rondo and the Celtics defeated Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in the Finals, which in turn was the Celtics’ first title in 22 years.
Clearly, the history between these two storied franchises is unlike any other rivalry in the league, and for his part, Rondo can count himself lucky as having had the opportunity to make his mark on both.