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The complete history of Chris Paul-Rajon Rondo beef

Rajon Rondo Chris Paul

Earlier in the season, Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo got into a scuffle in the middle of a game between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in which the two point guards came to blows. Not only that, but Paul said that Rondo spat on him, which Rondo later denied.

These two feisty floor generals will face off again on Thursday night, once again in Tinseltown. So, that begs the question: just what started this longstanding beef between Paul and Rondo?

Well, rumor has it that the feud started back in the summer of 2008, when Paul helped lead Team U.S.A. to a gold medal in the Olympics. What does that have to do with Rondo, you ask?

Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Lakers, Rockets


Here is the thing: Rondo received an invitation for Team U.S.A. basketball, but he was not even named as one of the finalists for the roster, which almost surely annoyed the hyper-competitive Rondo.

Remember: that year, Rondo and the Boston Celtics had won an NBA championship, something that is still on Paul’s to-do list.

The beef then spilled over during a meeting between Rondo’s Celtics and Paul’s New Orleans Hornets in November 2009, when the two were both assessed technical fouls for getting tangled up jostling for position. Then, after the game, Rondo confronted Paul and reportedly told him that he had a ring and that CP3 was never going to win one.

Rondo’s hatred for Paul boiled so deeply that a Celtics spokesperson later had to tell the media to never ask Rondo about Paul.

Of course, it didn’t help matters much that regardless of how well Rondo had been playing at the time or the fact that he had a ring, the media still put Paul above him in point guard rankings.

While things are certainly different in 2019, back then, Paul and Rondo were considered two of the top players at their position, with Deron Williams also in the mix.

Clearly, Rondo did not like hearing that Paul was better than him, and it only rubbed more salt in the wound that Paul was named to the Team U.S.A. roster for the FIBA Championships in 2010 (although he ended up bowing out) while Rondo withdrew due to a lack of playing time in the lead-up to the tournament.

Then, just ahead of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign, Rondo’s worst nightmare happened: he was include in trade talks for Paul, who was still with the Hornets at the time.

Paul wanted out of New Orleans, and the Celtics were seen as one of the top potential destinations for him and were reportedly more than willing to give up Rondo to acquire him.

Both sides got deep into talks, but the word was that Paul refused to commit to Boston long-term, which essentially killed the deal. New Orleans then reached a deal to send CP3 to the Los Angeles Lakers, but, of course, then-commissioner David Stern infamously stepped in and vetoed the trade. Paul was then dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Chris Paul

While Rondo said nothing of his inclusion in the evidently squashed deal publicly, you can only imagine the kind of anger and emotion it stirred up in Rajon.

Since then, there actually hadn’t been much confrontation between Rondo and Paul. Outside of a game last season when Rondo (who was playing for the Pelicans at the time) got a technical foul from the bench for jawing at Paul (who was in his first year with the Rockets), the beef between the two competitors was relatively dormant.

Until, of course, this past October, when it only re-ignited, but completely erupted.

So, what is the exact reasoning behind the Paul-Rondo beef? Honestly, there is probably jealousy on both ends. Paul is envious over the fact that Rondo has a ring and he doesn’t, and Rondo can’t stomach the idea that Paul has always been viewed as a better point guard than him, even by the general manager that drafted him in Danny Ainge.

Both of these guys are ruthless on the court and take their craft very seriously, so it seems only natural that the two would butt heads. Plus, both players have been seen as abrasive teammates by some, with Rondo giving Doc Rivers a whole lot of headaches in Boston and Paul seemingly getting under his teammates’ skins during his days with the Clippers (in which he was coincidentally coached by Doc).

Whatever the case may be, we will get to see Rondo and Paul go at it again on Thursday night, and something tells me we won’t be seeing any pregame or postgame pleasantries exchanged between the two players.

The post The complete history of Chris Paul-Rajon Rondo beef appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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