By all means, Sacramento Kings point guard Rajon Rondo is having an All-Star season and resurrecting his career. Rondo is leading the entire NBA in assists at 11.0 APG and tied for sixth in the Western Conference in steals at 1.88 SPG.
Last season, Rondo was traded from Boston after nine seasons, which included a NBA championship in 2008 and four All-Star appearances, to the Dallas Mavericks. The trade ultimately soured, and Rondo was essentially dismissed from the team under the guise of a back injury. Rondo never meshed with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and he became quickly expendable.
Rondo signed with the Sacramento King this off-season on a one-year deal worth $9.5 million and his play so far this season has been reminiscent of the player he was in Boston where he established himself as one of the best court generals in the NBA. Rondo has led the NBA in assists twice, and is on track to do so again for the third time in his career. Few players posses his court vision.
However, Rondo's comeback season took a hit this week when the point guard was suspended one game by the NBA for homophobic slurs he used towards referee Bill Kennedy during a December 3 game. Rondo has issued two apologies for his actions. Referee Bill Kennedy has also since revealed that he is gay. Tensions flare during sports and anger gets the better of competitive players sometimes, but Rondo's actions reek of the immaturity that cast him off in Dallas and created alleged tensions in Boston. Sports is inclusive, and is no place for bigotry.
Despite the disastrous stint with the Mavericks, Sacramento was one of the few teams to show real interest in Rondo. The Kings were 29-53 last season and banked on Rondo improving their young and talented but hapless squad. The Kings are 10-15, good for second to last in the Pacific Standings.
With his suspension behind him, Rondo can now focus on helping the Kings be more competitive. Teamed with All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, Rondo must continue his great play for the Kings to push for a playoff spot. Currently, the Kings are 1.5 games behind Denver which would be the eighth seed if the playoffs began today.
Rondo's future may or not be in Sacramento, but for a player turning 30 this season, he needs a great season to lock up a long term deal this off-season. Rondo returns to action December 18 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.