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Los Angeles Lakers allude guard Rajon Rondo handles the ball versus the Houston Rockets throughout Game 5 that the west Conference semifinals at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty images
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By Marc J. Spears

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Rajon Rondo sent out his daughter, Ryelle, “gifts and also love” from afar on Thursday for her 13th birthday. The Los Angeles Lakers guard told her on FaceTime that he would never miss her birthday again. He additionally decided to save his talk through his daughter around the Breonna Taylor news in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, for one more day.

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“It’s tough. Mine daughter turn 13 today. A young, chaste woman remained in her bed … and also the bullets acquire charged for going with a structure for endangerment matches a person’s body the is not right here anymore,” Rondo said The Undefeated after the Lakers’ 114-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets in game 4 that the west Conference finals.

“My daughter is very aware,” the continued. “She understands it. She’s 13. But this occurred over the last 24 hours and I didn’t say much about it since today was her birthday. I continue to be high praising because that her. However eventually, us will obtain to sit down and also talk. Her mother is act a hell of a project raising her and also bringing to irradiate what is walking on. So, because that me personally, together a dad, i didn’t desire to harp on that being she birthday. A couple more days that it passes and also we will certainly see how she is feeling about it then.”

On Wednesday, among three Louisville police police officers who raided Taylor’s apartment, Brett Hankison, to be charged with 3 counts of wanton endangerment because that firing right into a neighbor’s apartment. Yet a grand jury decided not to move forward with charges against any that the policemans for their functions in the fatality of Taylor. The ruling pained supporters hoping for justice because that the 26-year-old afri American woman, who was shot and killed on march 13.

The news hit Rondo, who is native Louisville’s West End, specifically hard.

“It’s been really emotional because that me the last pair of days,” Rondo said. “I’m simply trying to save my mind busy. As soon as I obtain some time come myself, it’s hard not to think around it. It’s mine hometown. I have a daughter. Black females don’t have actually no value because have been here . It’s hard, frustrating and also hurtful. …

“It’s clear over with the state, yet the FBI is obviously act an investigation. Hopefully, there will be a far better outcome 보다 there has actually been for this reason far.”

Lakers star LeBron James claimed the players have available support to Rondo, knowing he’s indigenous Louisville.

“One thing, we want to it is in there because that our brother, ‘Do .’ As lot as it’s terrible to us, you can only imagine it happening in her backyard,” James said. “Do being from Louisville, we knew how challenging it had to be on his family and the locals there.”

There have actually been demonstrations in Louisville for two directly nights protesting the Taylor news. During Wednesday night’s protests, two Louisville police policemans were shot. A doubt has due to the fact that been arrested.

“After we get done protesting, we have to go come the boardroom,” Rondo said. “That is where readjust happens. … The readjust happens in the vote room. Now we gained to make a distinction by going come the boardrooms and understand what is keep going in meetings, then make a adjust that way.”

Despite the Taylor news, Rondo is hopeful that positive change is coming to Louisville once Yvette Gentry becomes the city’s interim police chef on Oct. 1. The african American woman has an ext than twenty years of endure with the Louisville metro Police Department, including serving as deputy chief before retiring in 2014. She will be Louisville’s third police chief due to the fact that Taylor’s death. Coincidentally, Gentry is the executive, management director of the Rondo Foundation, Rondo’s charitable organization.

“I’m trying come stay strong and do the efforts to make a difference,” Rondo said. “My lady the runs my structure now is around to take over together police chief. I’m just talking through her everyday to proceed to lug awareness and also tackle and hold these world accountable. … ns becoming more confident in the future due to the fact that who is in position. I have a many confidence in Yvette Gentry. …

“We have actually been trying to make change since the beginning when we started collaborating with my structure the last 2 years. Now we have to get behind the mayor, the remainder of the state and government officials.”

On Thursday night, Rondo was able to be a leader because that the Lakers ~ above the court together well. He had actually 11 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds in 22 minutes turn off the bench in the game 4 win. He additionally moved to eighth place on the NBA’s all-time playoff assist list, passing room of Famer Scottie Pippen. The 14-year veteran has actually averaged 7.5 points, 8.3 assists and also 3.0 rebounds in the western Conference finals.

James sang Rondo’s praises after ~ the game.

“He’s play at the greatest level, and he’s someone the we deserve to trust,” James stated of Rondo, that won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008. “In the postseason, every possession is so important. When you deserve to have men that have remained in the moments and can recognize and likewise be may be to do adjustments ~ above the fly, and also know the you have the right to count on them under the stretch, it just makes the team and also you individually feel so much an ext confident in the outcome. Ever due to the fact that he got ago from injury and also we experienced this playoff run, he’s to be exceptional.”

The Lakers can breakthrough to the 2020 NBA Finals with one an ext win against the Nuggets. The 34-year-old Rondo relishes the opportunity to win an additional championship prior to he retires.

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“That is why i am quiet in this league,” Rondo said. “Obviously, ns am not out right here for a check. I want to win. I want that feeling again. … My kids seeing me victory at an er where they recognize the game now. That is the best goal, come win through a an excellent group that guys. You absolutely don’t take that for granted.

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