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At the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, Rajon Rondo was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. But for Terance Mann, in a way, Rondo has been a part of an organization since the 24-year-old’s tenure began in Los Angeles.
Mann, who has been with the Clippers since they drafted him out of Florida State in 2019, recently revealed that his new veteran teammate has meant a lot to him throughout his basketball career. In fact, Rondo means so much to Mann that the former FSU star has been carrying around a trading card from before Rondo’s rookie season ever since he was in middle school that’s served as a good luck charm to him.
“So the story is somebody gave it to me, and I had made the A-Team for my travel team,” Mann explained. “They gave it to me that day and I made the A-team and I was like, ‘it’s gotta be because of this card.’ So I kept the card and I just kept getting better and better at basketball and I’m like, ‘oh it’s because of this card I’m going to the NBA definitely.’ And I just had it in my wallet ever since. It’s my good luck charm.”
What makes it more interesting is that this is a card of Rondo back during his college days in Kentucky, so if Mann does follow through and try to get an autograph from his new teammate, the card won’t bring back memories of messy breakups with the NBA franchises he’s played for.
The Clippers are trying to significantly improve from last year’s notable playoff exit against the Nuggets, and hoping that Rondo can help the team do just that. The veteran point guard was acquired from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Lou Williams, two second-round draft picks and cash considerations. Lawrence Frank, President of Basketball Operations for the Clippers, spoke highly of Rondo when the trade was officially announced.
“We could not be more excited to welcome Rajon to the Clippers,” said Frank. “He is a proven winner, a relentless competitor, and one of the most skilled orchestrators of his era. We believe he will elevate our group and continue to propel us forward.”