Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo still needs a maintenance day every now and then as he continues to recover from ACL surgery. He has not played in games on consecutive nights since returning last month, and that trend continued when he missed Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings after playing 34 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers the night before.
The issue with Saturday is that Rondo remained in LA instead of traveling to Sacramento with the team. According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, he did so without permission.
“I plan on talking to Rondo when he gets back into town,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said on Monday. “I’ll find out more about what went into it, and then we’ll handle it internally. We handle all of those kind of issues internally.”
Sources reportedly told Bulpett that Rondo, who turned 28 on Saturday, remained in LA for a birthday celebration.
“His wife and kids were with him in LA, and there were some other people who came in,” one source said. “I think he felt obligated to them, too, and what they had planned for his birthday.”
Rondo knew he would have the day off against the Kings, so it’s not as if he skipped an actual game. However, the team could discipline him for skipping an obligation without consulting anyone. After Monday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz, Rondo brushed the issue aside.
“We already talked about it,” he said. “There’s nothing to talk about.”
Ainge’s comments about speaking to Rondo when he gets back to Boston came after Rondo’s assertion that there is nothing to talk about, so there may be more at play than meets the eye. Maybe he just needed a day off after hearing his name attached to trade rumors all last week.