UPDATED 10/3/18 1:05 p.m. ET: After closer inspection, Rondo appears to say "He is who I thought" rather than "He isn't who I thought" as previously reported.
See below for original story published on 10/2/18:
We've come a long way in the relationship between Rajon Rondo and LeBron James. We can still remember when Rondo was allegedly spotted next to a young woman rocking a T-shirt that read: "LeBron is a bitch." Not only that, but a case could be made the Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Rondo-era Celtics were the biggest reason LeBron teamed with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
But so much has happened since that period—most notably Rondo's precipitous fall into irrelevance (gone are the days of a non-shooting point guard), only to see him reemerge as a major thorn in the side of the Blazers when his surprising Pelicans upset them in the first round last year—that it should not be surprising the former foes mesh so well.
After the Lakers signed LeBron and a bunch of misfits joined him on one-year deals, Rondo was brought in to engender a smoother LeBron transition to Hollywood. So far, the former irascible Celtic is impressed with James' leadership:
Here's the full Rondo excerpt on how James is a tad different than he imagined:
“I played against him for 13 years now, but obviously I think what your hear versus what you see is a little bit different.
“He is who I thought he was, he’s probably even a better leader, especially on the floor, telling everybody where to go and directing traffic. I’m so used to doing that myself, so it’s kind of refreshing to me to not have to talk every possession down the floor because I have someone else doing the same thing that you can obviously trust.”
Rajon has been known as a basketball savant whose unique mind conjures up the most ingenious passing angles this side of Pistol Pete. James has shown off a similar scholarship when it comes to the intricacies of basketball's x's and o's, so it's not a surprise they're connecting on that front (no word on any Connect 4 battles, though). Whether it translates on the court remains to be seen, but it'll never stop being weird seeing the Ubuntu Celtics like Rondo venerating their former basketball nemesis: