After the Clippers' 98-85 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, second-year forward Terance Mann showed reporters a Rajon Rondo rookie card that he has apparently carried with him since middle school. Mann said he made his travel team's A-team shortly after receiving the card and has held onto ever since.
The story is somebody gave it to me and then I had made the A-team for my travel team. They gave it to me that day and I made the A-team and I was like 'Man, it gotta be because of this card.' So I kept the card and I just kept getting better and better at basketball. I'm like 'It's because of this card. I'm going to the NBA definitely.' I just had it in my wallet ever since. It's my good luck charm now.
If the card got Mann onto a travel team, just imagine what playing alongside the player himself is going to do.
The Clippers provided a closer look at the card, showing Rondo in his old Kentucky uniform all those years ago:
We can probably expect that card to receive some ink in the very near future.
Given that Mann is 24 years old, he would have received the card right around Rondo's heyday with the Boston Celtics. Since then, Rondo has moved all around the NBA, recently winning a second ring with the Los Angeles Lakers last season.
Meanwhile, Mann, a Lowell, Massachusetts native, turned into a four-star recruit in high school, played two seasons at Florida State and got drafted by the Clippers, with whom he has turned logged decent minutes this season. He's averaged 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds mostly off the bench, but started Thursday's game due to a spate of injuries.
The acquisition of Rondo came at the cost of veteran bench scorer Lou Williams, draft picks and cash for the Clippers. Mann wasn't too happy to see Williams go though, posting "[Williams] taught me how to be a pro .. much love OG" on his Instagram story after the game.
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