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Rajon Rondo, two-time NBA champion, announces retirement after 16 seasons

Rajon Rondo, two-time NBA champion, announces retirement after 16 seasons

Rajon Rondo was a 2006 first-round pick who went on to win two NBA championships with the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Rajon Rondo announced on this week's "All That Smoke" podcast that he's done playing in the NBA.

"I'd rather spend time with my kids," Rondo told hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

Rondo, 38, was a first-round draft pick by the Phoenix Suns out of Kentucky in 2006. He was then dealt that night to the Boston Celtics with Brian Grant going the other way.

While playing parts of nine seasons with the Celtics, Rondo won his first NBA title, was a four-time All-Star, made the NBA's All-Defensive First and Second Teams on two occasions, and led the league in steals in 2010. Other than his rookie season, once he became a regular in the lineup, he averaged double-digit points per game.

Rondo moved on from Boston to the Dallas Mavericks in Dec. 2014, but his time there ended that season after clashes with head coach Rick Carlisle and strained relationships with his teammates. It was bad enough that Rondo was reportedly left out of the players' playoff share.

Rondo spent the following three seasons on three different teams — the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans — before joining the Los Angeles Lakers and helping them win the 2020 NBA title. During the run to his second career championship, he recorded 8.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds coming off the bench.

Rondo last played in 2022 for the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers, got one more ride with the Lakers, and finally, played with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rondo told Barnes and Jackson that he's back at school as a full-time student taking a mix of online and in-person classes at the University of Kentucky. He left college early to enter the NBA Draft in 2006 and is now finishing up his degree while coaching his 12-year-old son.

“What a time,” said Rondo about his 16-season NBA career. “Definitely something I never took for granted while I was in the game. I loved every minute of it, and I appreciate the brotherhood I was able to share, and bond and grow with over the years. I learned so much in this game, and it’s made me the man who I am today.”

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