Darius Garland had the chance to play with Rajon Rondo for the first time since the veteran guard joined the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Garland, who is having a perennial All-Star season, was glad to see Rondo on the floor, praising his veteran presence and leadership, after the Cavs’ 114-101 win over Portland.
“It was fun, the first couple plays were kinda like, `Dang, that’s Rondo on the floor,’” Garland said. “New face, but it was cool — Rondo’s a really good guy, he’s a great vet, he’s a leader on the floor, so it was fun playing with him,” Garland said, per cleveland.com.
Rondo was acquired by the Cavaliers after key injuries in Ricky Rubio and Collin Sexton left Cleveland’s backcourt depleted.
Garland, who turns 22 later this month, scored 26 points in the win over the Trail Blazers and continues to develop into the player the Cavs want to lead the backcourt.
Rondo admitted his first appearance with Cleveland was fun for him, as the franchise made the three-team trade with the Lakers and Knicks official a few days ago. The veteran guard played just under 17 minutes in his game with his new team.
“(My mindset) was just to have fun, go out there and do what I do best. Be myself. And Coach Bickerstaff made me feel comfortable from jump.”