Derek Fisher tips hat to retiring NBA rival Rajon Rondo

Derek Fisher tips hat to retiring NBA rival Rajon Rondo

/ 02:50 PM April 18, 2024

Derek Fisher NBA Lakers Celtics Rajon Rondo

FILE–Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to drive on Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the 2008 NBA Finals on June 8, 2008 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

MANILA, Philippines—Before fans anticipated flashy crossovers and deep-range triples from the NBA’s current point guards, spectators awaited the chess-match-like battles of floor generals in the late 2010s.

During the rivalry of Boston and Los Angeles in the later part of the 2010’s, Rajon Rondo and Derek Fisher called the shots for the Celtics and Lakers, respectively.

The countless matchups between Rondo and Fisher sharpened each other to push them an echelon above other point guards in their era.

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So when Rondo announced his retirement a few days ago, it was natural to see Fisher give credit where credit is due by tipping his hat to his fellow floor general.

“Rajon, even more so than me, was asked to do so much for his team to be successful. The transition he made from being a young player in Kentucky to basically running a quarterback in a championship, says a lot about who he is. His teammates trusted him,” said the five-time NBA champion in the Jr. NBA Philippines Coaches Clinic at NBA Community Court in Mandaluyong on Wednesday.

“Rajon really only cared about winning, making his teammates better and those are the things that I cared about [as well].”

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Rondo, during his time with the Celtics, helped Boston win a title in 2008 with averages of 10.6 points, 5.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game for said season.

READ: Rajon Rondo announces retirement from NBA: ‘I’m done’

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Fisher, though, had more rings with his time in the Lakers, winning all five of his rings with the Purple and Yellow squad.

Fisher won back-to-back titles with the Lakers from 2009 to 2010. Their ’09 crusade ended with a victory over Rondo and the Celtics. In that season, the seasoned shot caller normed 9.9 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.

Despite being hard on each other during their primes, Fisher admitted that he saw similarities in his play style and passion with Rondo, which garnered even more respect from the former Oklahoma City guard.

“The similarities boiled down to the fact that neither one of us felt like, statistically, we had to be the most impactful in order for our teams to win.”

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“I think that’s where we were very similar and why he was able to lead his team to victory so often and I feel like those are the reasons why I helped my team to win as well.”

TAGS: Boston Celtics, Derek Fisher, Rajon Rondo

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