Rajon Rondo has repeatedly downplayed the significance of his decision to remain in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago while his team traveled to Sacramento to play the Kings. The Boston Celtics point guard, who is recovering from an ACL injury, was scheduled for rest anyway and was not going to play. However, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge claims Rondo was asked to travel with the team.
On Wednesday, Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich Morning Show” that both he and Celtics coach Brad Stevens told Rondo they did not want him to stay in LA for his birthday party.
Danny Ainge just told us that Rondo asked Ainge & Stevens to stay in LA for party,they said they didnt want him to, he stayed in LA anyway.
— Toucher and Rich (@Toucherandrich) March 5, 2014
Ainge had a chance to defend Rondo when the incident first occurred, and he chose not to. Instead, he said that the matter would be handled “internally.” A source reportedly told the Boston Herald at the time that Rondo had family coming to town to celebrate his birthday and felt obligated to them.
Ainge also told Toucher and Rich that Rondo was told there would be consequences if he chose not to travel with the team, though Ainge says those consequences were simply a sit-down meeting.
Some — Rondo included — may not think it’s a big deal. Others feel that it shows blatant defiance by Rondo and indicates he feels he has his own set of rules that don’t apply to the rest of the team. Given what we know about him, it’s not surprising that he feels that way.