NBA Coast to Coast: Rajon Rondo aims for an NBA title with Mavericks

NBA Coast to Coast: Rajon Rondo aims for an NBA title with Mavericks
Rajon Rondo, left, and Dwight Powell hold their new Dallas Mavericks jerseys during a news conference Friday. (G.J. McCarthy / Associated Press)

Rajon Rondo wants another ring and another parade and knew it probably wasn't happening anytime soon with the rebuilding Celtics.

When he was on his way to Dallas with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban as the centerpiece of a five-player trade, championship talk dominated the conversation.


The deal sends the four-time All-Star point guard from the fringe of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference with Boston to solidly in the mix in the tougher West, where the Mavericks were showing signs of returning to title contention but looking like they might be missing a piece.

In their view, that piece comes in the form of the NBA's assists leader with a reputation as a solid defender and rebounder. In other words, one of the league's few triple-double threats.

"To be a contender right away, there's a goal that you have in mind and I'm dying to get a ring again," Rondo said at his introductory news conference Friday. "I want another parade."

The ninth-year player got his first with the Celtics in 2008, and now Rondo is joining 2011 champs Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler as part of the nucleus of a Dallas team trying to win another title.

Rondo and center Dwight Powell were acquired Thursday for center Brandan Wright, forward Jae Crowder, point guard Jameer Nelson, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a second-round choice in 2016.

Long the subject of trade rumors, Rondo was in his second season of a full rebuilding mode in Boston following the departures of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. He also missed parts of two seasons to have reconstructive knee surgery.

"Well, it's been about seven years now and I've been in trade rumors," said Rondo, who has career averages of 11 points, 8.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds. "Bound to happen."

The news came in a phone call from Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, a former teammate of Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. Rondo said they talked for about 45 minutes after the deal was settled and "it was no hard feelings."

"I believe it's a great legacy I leave behind," said Rondo, who was the 21st overall pick out of Kentucky by Phoenix in 2006 and shipped to Boston in a draft-day deal. "I can't remember one bad time I had in Boston as far as where I got negative feedback from fans, no matter the first year we lost 18 straight or the following year we won a championship."


MJ vs. Kobe

Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, on Dan Patrick's radio show, comparing Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant: "Michael Jordan on his worst day is 10 times better than Kobe Bryant on his best day. That's not shortchanging Kobe at all, because he handed me my lunch pail, too. But I will take that Black Cat [Jordan] all day, any day over Kobe."

Stopping Durant

Golden State Coach Steve Kerr, after Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant scored 30 points on 10-for-13 shooting in the first half, but sprained his right ankle just before halftime and sat out the rest of the Thunder's 114-109 loss to the Warriors: "I thought we did a tremendous job on him in the second half. I didn't even notice him in the second half. We completely stopped him."


Z's in the Big D

Kenny Smith, TNT analyst, on Rajon Rondo's getting traded to Dallas: "[He] not only defends but he pushes the ball, obviously, at you and gets you on your heels. So you're going to go to bed at 10 o'clock when you get to Dallas. There's no late night movie when you go to Dallas anymore. When we talk about going against Rajon Rondo and your CP3 [Chris Paul] or your [Russell] Westbrook . . . you get some rest."


Looking Ahead

GOLDEN STATE AT CLIPPERS: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. TV: TNT.

It's the final game of the NBA's quintuple-header on Christmas Day, and it has the makings to be the most intriguing because of the animosity between the Clippers and Warriors. The Pacific Division rivals played a first-round playoff series last season, with the Clippers winning in seven games. They met last month, with the Warriors winning at home, 121-104, as Stephen Curry had 28 points and seven assists.