The perception that the Los Angeles Lakers are riddled with dysfunction isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
In the final minute of the Lakers’ 115-99 home loss to the Denver Nuggets, ESPN cameras panned to point guard Rajon Rondo sitting courtside in seats normally reserved for fans — a considerable distance away from his teammates.
Naturally, it caused some commotion online. It didn’t sit well with ESPN color analyst Mark Jackson either.
“That can’t happen,” Jackson said. “That’s not a winning culture. That’s unacceptable.”
Asked about it after the game — a game in which LeBron James passed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list — Rondo didn’t believe it was a big deal. He pointed out that he has done that on multiple occasions throughout the season.
“I’ve done that maybe 8-10 times this year,” Rondo said when a reporter told him it went viral. “I don’t know why it’s a big deal now.”
It’s something he likes to do, evidently.
I once asked Rondo about the infamous photo of the Lakers’ bench in Indy. Rondo was in fan seats then, too. He said he likes sitting in the courtside seats, they’re just usually full at Staples. 🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/2KnC0xJJYm
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 7, 2019
The stir caused Wednesday night resembled the photo that went viral last month when James sat all the way on the end of the Lakers’ bench during a blowout loss at Indiana.
Wednesday night’s loss was the fourth straight for the Lakers, who are falling further and further out of playoff contention. Now 30-35, the Lakers are tied for 10th in the West with the Minnesota Timberwolves, 6.5 games back of the eighth and final playoff spot with 17 games to play.
James, in his first year in Los Angeles, has not missed the playoffs since 2005 — his second season in the NBA. James said earlier this week he intends to play out the season, putting off speculation he may sit out games.
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