12 People who turned their backs on the Bulls

Minnesota Timberwolves v Chicago Bulls
Minnesota Timberwolves v Chicago Bulls / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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6. Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo went from a solid role player for the Boston Celtics to one of the best table-setters in the league. Rondo made four consecutive All-Star teams and was even named to one of the All-NBA teams. 

However, many felt Rondo was merely a by-product of Boston's star-laden roster.

The Cs ultimately blew their roster up and traded Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, while shipping off Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, in addition to losing Ray Allen to the Miami Heat. Rondo butted heads with then Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, so the marriage ended before the honeymoon.

Rondo went to the Sacramento Kings and played out of his mind, averaging 11.9 points and a league-leading 11.7 assists, while nabbing six rebounds and two steals. Rondo also made 36.5 percent of his treys, which was a really big deal for someone who was viewed as a non-shooter.

Unsurprisingly, the Bulls registered interest in the 29-year-old.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go as planned. Rondo had a career year from deep (37.6 percent), but ultimately clashed with Dwyane Wade, as he went to Instagram to stand up for the Bulls’ young guns, after Wade called them out. The Bulls clawed their way into the postseason, earning the eighth and final spot in the East with a 41-41 record.

This set the stage for a postseason match against Rondo’s former Celtics, who were the top seed in the East. The Bulls led 2-0 after the first two games, snagging both matches on the road.

To no surprise, Boston won the next four games and ended all hopes of the Bulls being a Cinderella team. Rondo would later explain that he was overjoyed with the Bulls’ disappointing playoff exit, as it allowed him an opportunity for revenge, which Rondo explained on the View from the Rafters podcast.

"I got benched for almost 20 games that year, we turned around a little bit going into the playoffs, then I'm back in the starting lineup. For me, that was my motivation, like, 'You guys want to bench me? I'mma show you.' I ended up trying to do my best as I could possibly do. We win the first two games, I got hurt, we don't win another game. So for me, that was kind of like their karma on how they treated me versus me not being able to feel the destiny as far as me winning and beating the Celtics.”

It’s not often that players speak positively about disappointing postseason defeats. It’s almost always more of the opposite.

But for Rondo, who was being petty, I guess this worked out in his favor.