It’s pretty safe to say Rajon Rondo was a shell of himself in the last season, and getting a fresh start in Sacramento could help get back on track.
Adding Rondo plus Kings Coach George Karl and we have a lot of basketball IQ.
Coach Karl spoke with the Boston Globe about Rondo‘s strengths and his troubles in Dallas.
“My feeling is that [Rondo’s] a pass-first point guard, which I think is important and I think in the end it really excites me,” Karl said. “We have two guys who can take control of the team and play together and keep the pace of the game. We can play with a lot of freedom and creativity but also play without turnovers.”
Asked how he sold Rondo on Sacramento after Rondo’s bad experience last season with Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, Karl said: “I just sold him on how I like to let my guys have freedom. I talked to him once before he signed and it’s going to be fun coaching him. I think he wants to lead our team but he also wants to be part of the decision-making, and that can be somewhat combustible but it can also work at a high level because I think we’re all trying to make the team the best.”
Karl has always had high scoring teams and has dealt with a bevy of successful point guards who like to things their way. Rondo of course, will be no different them.
“I had Gary Payton [in Seattle], Sam Cassell [in Milwaukee], Allen Iverson [in Denver], Chauncey Billups [in Denver]. Chauncey is challenging,” Karl said. “Andre Miller is probably not as challenging but he’ll be stubborn and wanting me to do it his way. I think all really good point guards have a trust and belief in themselves that sometimes causes conflict with the coaches.”
When Rondo is dialed in and focused, he’s arguably the best pass first point guard in the league. It will Karl’s job to have Rondo motivated and more importantly, helps him regain some of ‘fun’ Rondo fans love to see with his ball handling and passing wizardry.
DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay should benefit from easy buckets from Rondo who loves to feed his teammates, something that shall be new for them.
It’s too early to tell if Rondo will succeed as a King, but Karl might be best suited for the job to help him do so.