Though he played just 33 games in 2013-2014, his team didn’t make the playoffs, and he’s not a free agent, Rajon Rondo keeps making headlines. After recently appearing on “Good Morning America” and catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park with Kevin Love, he continued his offseason publicity tour on Thursday as a guest on ESPN’s “Numbers Never Lie.” Anything but boring, Rondo made headlines on the show by suggesting that LeBron James should leave the Miami Heat in free agency.
Talking LeBron and the Heat with host Jemele Hill, Rondo didn’t mince words in sharing his opinion on the state of matters in Miami.
I definitely think he should have some doubts [about the Heat], especially the way they played in the Finals. It doesn’t look to great how they ended the season. It’s not about making the Finals for those guys, it’s about winning them…
If I was LeBron I might have some doubts about staying in Miami… I don’t think he had any help in the Finals. How good do they get from now? Where do they go now? As far as the cap room, if everybody opts in everybody’s making $20 million next year as far as the Big Three. You have two or three million dollars to spend; who wants to go play for a minimum-level [contract]? It’ll be tough to get guys there to play.
The way [Dwyane Wade] showed up in the Finals, I might have some doubts if I were LeBron. My sidekick guy, my go-to guy [playing poorly], if I don’t have the ball rolling who can I defer to? It didn’t look like Wade – or even Chris Bosh – were [that guy] in the Finals.
To be fair, Rondo’s concerns are common, realistic, and even nuanced. James has much to think about in deciding his future, and the play of his teammates in the Finals is certainly something to consider. After a spry Eastern Conference Finals, Wade was consistently sluggish against San Antonio, and Bosh was too easily and frequently lost in the shuffle as a secondary scorer. Miami won’t have meaningful cap space to add impact players unless the Big Three take sizable pay-cuts, either.
Rondo’s words, however, still deserve to be met with a giant grain of salt. As a competitor in the Eastern Conference, he has every reason to stir the pot by suggesting that it’s prudent for LeBron to part ways with Miami this summer. Remember, the Heat dispatched Rondo’s Celtics during the postseason in both 2011 and 2012 and made history this season by becoming the first team since 1987 to reach the Finals four consecutive seasons. Rondo has an individual history with Wade and James, too.
So while we’re grateful for Rondo’s opinion and it certainly makes for fun offseason fodder, excuse LeBron if he hasn’t been swayed to leave South Beach by his rival from Boston. Wherever he ends up, though, Rondo’s words will certainly make for an even more fun match-up when the two players meet in 2014-2015.
(Video via ESPNNumbersNeverLie)
Do you agree with Rondo?
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