Rajon Rondo sat out Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks with a back injury, but the Sacramento Kings point guard did his best to impact the game from the bench.
And we’re not talking about cheering for his teammates or calling out plays. Instead, Rondo appeared to make an attempt at kicking Mavs point guard Deron Williams in the middle of play.
— Enrique García (@KikeGarciaL) January 6, 2016
Was that intentional? Here’s a closer look:
Williams ended up hitting the game-winning shot in double-OT, so he got the last laugh. In fact, it didn’t even look like he noticed Rondo trying to kick him. The two shared a hug after the game. Mavs fans might have an even tougher time believing what Rondo recently said about Dallas after they see that clip.
Rajon Rondo’s brief stint with the Dallas Mavericks last season flopped worse than Vlade Divac in the early 2000s. The four-time All-Star point guard was acquired by the team last trade deadline but proved himself to be a square peg in a round hole within head coach Rick Carlisle’s offense. Rondo averaged just 9.3 points per game and 6.5 assists per game in 46 appearances as a Maverick. Not to mention that he butted heads with Carlisle (both in public and in private), quit on the team in their first-round defeat to the Rockets last postseason, and hightailed it out of Dallas-Fort Worth upon the end of the season, burning all of his bridges along the way.
Surprisingly however, Rondo, now a Sacramento King, has nothing but good things to say about the Mavericks organization. Ahead of Tuesday’s game in Dallas, his first since leaving the team over the summer, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon relayed for the first time some comments Rondo made after the Mavericks played the Kings in Sacramento earlier this season.
“I had a tough three, four months in Dallas,” said Rondo. “It hurt, but it helped as well. I’m in a great situation. I have no regrets about what happened in Dallas. Everything happens for a reason; I’m a big believer in that.
“They’re all good people,” he continued. “They treated me really well. I have nothing but love for that organization. Mark Cuban’s a great guy. I don’t have any regrets. I went through what I went through.”
Rondo, who has found his groove again in Sacramento to the tune of 12.0 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, and a league-leading 11.5 assists per game this season, appears willing to let bygones be bygones. Though messy, the breakup proved to be best for all parties with Rondo rehabilitating his value and the Mavericks at a surprising 19-15 on the year, good enough for fifth in the Western Conference.
Of course, Rondo could just be attempting to rebuild his public image after some ugly comments he directed towards referee Bill Kennedy last month. But credit to the former Kentucky Wildcat for putting all of last season’s drama behind him and successfully returning to an All-Star level of play this season.
H/T NBA Reddit
- Rajon Rondo
Rondo was ejected from the Sacramento Kings’ game on Dec. 3 against the Boston Celtics in Mexico City for using derogatory words against Kennedy and not leaving the court in a timely matter. He received a one-game suspension eight days later on Dec. 11. Three days later, Kennedy publicly revealed that he is gay, which means the homosexual slurs Rondo used against him stung even more.
Appearing as a guest on “The Vertical Podcast with Woj,” Silver said he was very careful about handling the suspension because of Kennedy’s sexual orientation. He says that had he given Rondo multiple games, it would have drawn attention to the matter and led to speculation about the reason for the harsh punishment.
“Had I gone let’s say to two games from one game, or even possibly to three games, it would have been clear that something else was going on here, not just what was apparent on TV,” Silver told Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“But, while Bill Kennedy was known to be gay by many people in the league, Bill Kennedy had never made that very, very personal decision to publicly come out and announce to the world that he was a gay NBA referee. So, I have to say, in the back of my mind, I was concerned about that.
“It did not seem appropriate to me that I should, by virtue of a bad act by Rajon Rondo, out Bill Kennedy.”
Honestly, had the punishment for Rondo been severe, it would have led me and others to speculate about what the point guard could have said to Kennedy to deserve it. Kennedy’s sexuality would have popped up in my mind as a possible reason. Silver should be commended for considering this when weighing the matter and suspension of Rondo.
Between this and what he did with Donald Sterling, it’s clear that Silver does not hesitate to act swiftly and decisively when he sees fit.
Rajon Rondo on Monday addressed the recent incident in which he was suspended for making an offensive comment toward an official and not leaving the court in a timely fashion after being ejected.
Bill Kennedy, the referee Rondo blew up on, came out publicly as gay in an interview with Yahoo Sports over the weekend. In that same story, it was revealed that Kennedy told NBA officials Rondo used a gay slur during the outburst.
Rondo said he did not mean to disrespect Kennedy or anyone else.
My actions during the game were out of frustration and emotion, period!
— Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) December 14, 2015
They absolutely do not reflect my feelings toward the LGBT community. I did not mean to offend or disrespect anyone.
— Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) December 14, 2015
While there’s no excusing what Rondo said, you’d hate to think he knew Kennedy is gay and was bashing him for that. Though it wouldn’t make it right, hopefully he meant what he said as more of a general insult than a personal attack.
Rajon Rondo was suspended one game for using a derogatory and offensive comment against a referee earlier this month and for failing to leave the court in a timely fashion. Now we’re learning that Rondo used a gay slur at official Bill Kennedy, who came out publicly and announced he is gay.
“I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man,” Kennedy told Yahoo Sports. “I am following in the footsteps of others who have self-identified in the hopes that will send a message to young men and women in sports that you must allow no one to make you feel ashamed of who you are.”
Rondo was ejected from the Sacramento Kings’ Dec. 3 loss to the Boston Celtics in Mexico City. Rondo first was given a technical foul by Kennedy, and then he was ejected after following the official and saying more stuff to him.
When interviewed by the league about the matter, Kennedy said Rondo used gay slurs at him. “You’re a mother——- f—-t. … You’re a f—— f—-t, Billy,” Rondo supposedly said.
The other two officials confirmed the remarks.
Rondo is at least the third player punished by the league for using that anti-gay slur. Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 and Joakim Noah $50,000 for using the same slur during games.
Rajon Rondo and and Rick Carlisle got along like a coyote and a roadrunner during their short time together with the Dallas Mavericks. Of the many things that Rondo did to annoy Carlisle, one of them was apparently where the star point guard parked his car.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com recently sat down for a chat with Rondo, and he shared an entertaining aside about the time Carlisle wanted Rondo’s car towed after Rondo parked in his spot.
Story I forgot to tell yesterday: Rick Carlisle got heated when someone parked in his AAC spot last year. Wanted car towed. It was Rondo.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 1, 2015
Either it all went downhill from there, or it had already gone downhill and that’s why Carlisle had no interest in sharing.
In an interview of his own, Carlisle recently told MacMahon that he has no regrets over the way he handled Rondo. As we know, parking spot disputes only told a fraction of the story. Things were so hostile between Carlisle and Rondo that there was a shouting match on the sideline during a game and Rondo was sent away from the team in the middle of the playoffs. The relationship was doomed from day one, but all future Mavericks point guards with difficult personalities should make a note to not park in Carlisle’s spot.
Rick Carlisle insists that he doesn’t regret how the Mavericks handled Rajon Rondo during last season’s ill-fated marriage, but concedes that the trade never should have been made in the first place.
“I don’t have any regrets about the way we did anything,” Carlisle told ESPN.com’s Tim McMahon on Sunday ahead of Dallas’s game against Rondo’s Sacramento Kings. “It’s just going back in time, it’s a deal that had red flags. We should have stayed away from it.
“Listen, we all did everything we could to make it work. It was challenging. Going back in time, it’s a deal we should have shied away from, for the sake of us and for the sake of him. It’s a deal we shouldn’t have made. I think we all realize that now, but when you do a deal like that, you’ve got to do everything possible to make it work. I learned a lot going through the year with him and trying to be creative and use some of his unique abilities. He’s a very talented player, and he’s having a great year this year, which is basically no surprise.”
Carlisle also noted that the way Dallas’s roster was constructed didn’t suit Rondo’s game.
“With everything that happened with that whole situation, the bottom line is we fit him worse than he fit us. We were a worse fit for him than he was for us. We had a team of slashers last year. He needs shooters.
“Now he’s got a center that’s a shooter, he’s got wing players that can all shoot the ball, and George has given him the keys to the ignition. He’ll be great in that situation. We didn’t have enough shooters around him.”
“That stuff with Rondo, you can’t blame that on Rondo,” Carlisle conceded. “He tried to make that work. The ending was difficult, but bottom line, I knew he’d move on and play great, which he is.”
Of course, there’s more to it than just that. Carlisle and Rondo clashed about virtually everything from playcalling to the team’s style of play. Things got so bad that the pair got in a sideline shouting match and Rondo was sent home during the middle of the playoffs. Credit to Carlisle for taking the high road when he could have very easily said some unflattering things about his former point guard.