Lakers coach Frank Vogel laments not having Rajon Rondo around: ‘We really miss him around here’

Ryan Ward
2 Min Read

After winning the franchise’s 17th title, the Los Angeles Lakers made some drastic changes. The roster was shaken up with veteran players heading elsewhere in trades or NBA free agency like Rajon Rondo.

Rondo decided to sign with the Atlanta Hawks after opting out of his deal with the Lakers and will face his former team for the first time on Monday night. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel talked about what Rondo meant to the team.

“He was so vital to our championship run last year,” Vogel said of Rondo. “He really orchestrated the game on both sides of the ball. His ability to switch from man to zone, and we like to joke sometimes he had our guys in ‘mone’ defense, where a couple guys were in man, a couple guys were in zone”

Although Rondo moved on in favor of a bigger payday with the Hawks rather than return to help the Lakers defend their title, Vogel still holds a soft spot for the two-time NBA champion and appreciates what he did for the team last year.

“We really miss him around here,” Vogel said. “He was a big part of what we did last year, a big part of our culture.”

After playing a sizable role with the Lakers, Rondo has taken a backseat in Atlanta playing 14.8 minutes per game for the Hawks. He’s averaging a career-low 4.0 points per game to go along with 3.9 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.

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Ryan is a veteran sportswriter who has covered the NBA and NFL for nearly a decade. Along with numerous exclusive interviews with professional athletes, Ryan has been credentialed by the Los Angeles Lakers since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RyanWardLA.