Post-game Reactions

Here’s a sampling of what the C’s point guard, his teammates, and opponents had to say about the return from a gruesome left elbow dislocation during the postgame:

Doc Rivers on Rondo going forward: “Yeah it’s a major concern. You can play a lot with adrenaline, we’ve seen people play with broken feet and stuff like that. Honestly, moving forward, it’s, we’ll have to see, it’s going to be interesting, I’ll put it that way.”

Other injury updates? “Shaq came out of it good. Paul it was just cramps. Delonte is a major concern, shoulder could be worse than what we thought. You know, we’ll see.”

Doc on his reaction to seeing Rondo back: “Well that didn’t – it shocked me because he was out there because they said he wasn’t going to play, but once he walked out, it really didn’t surprise me in that way. We’ve got a bunch of guys like that. I’ve talked about it, it’s just ballers. Guys who like playing basketball, and they just play. They find a way. And that’s what he did.”

Did he inspire the team upon returning? “You know, I don’t know. I thought we were pretty inspired coming out of halftime. And I thought we played great the first eight minutes of the game and then we let them back in. And I thought our guys were really upset at that. And I thought in the second half, two things happened. The first unit came out with that same energy, and then the second unit – I thought Shaq (O’Neal) had a big impact in the second half, just his presence. Jeff Green was phenomenal. Delonte West gave us a lift. So I thought both units clicked. But clearly that got everyone excited. The only thing I’ve got to say – I just said – was when that whole thing happened, was ‘Composure. Don’t change the way you’re playing because we’ve got the lead. And we’re playing the right way. Don’t let any of this stuff distract you.’ And I was the most proud of that. Yeah, you know, it was awesome to see him back out on the floor, but at the end of the day it was great to see our team play.”

Rajon Rondo

On the play that caused his injury: “I thought I was trying to make a play on the ball and D. (Dwayne) Wade and I got tangled up. I tried to brace my fall and that’s when it happened.”

On if he’s concerned about his injury: “I’m not concerned. I’m glad we have a day off. I’ll be able to get a lot of treatment and hopefully I will be ready to play.”

On if he knew right away he had dislocated his shoulder: “I knew right away something was wrong when I went down but thank God for Kevin (Garnett) because I was having trouble breathing. I was worried about my elbow but I was having trouble breathing. I just kept hearing tell me to breathe. Everything else took care of itself.”

On his left arm after coming back in the game: “It was stiff but the main thing tonight is obviously it’s going to be in pain, but what makes it feel better is we got the win. That’s the main thing we got out of this game and that’s what we were focused on. Regardless of what happened, I went down (and) Paul (Pierce) went down, but regardless we got a win. We’ve got to move forward and try to get another game in two days.”

On if he thought he was out for the game and the series following his injury: “No. My adrenaline was too high. I fed off of the crowd’s energy (and) my teammates out there playing well. D. (Delonte) West did a great job. I just wanted to play and be a part of it. Regardless of what happened, I felt obviously my shot wasn’t going. I wasn’t doing much offensively, but I thought I could try to keep the game or change the game’s momentum by getting to the ball defensively. I just need two legs for that.”

On how hard it is to direct offense with injury: “It’s not hard at all especially with the way guys played tonight. I don’t have to do much scoring, just directing. Use your mouth and use my leg as far as defensively to slide. I couldn’t reach as much as I wanted to defensively but other than that I just tried to be an energy boost.”

On what went on in the locker room following injury: “I can’t really say exactly what happened, but it was still numb. It was still painful. They did a great job to get me back out there. I tried to ice it and see how it felt. I just wanted to play.”

On going forward: “Regardless of all the injuries that we have, we’re a no excuse team. If I’m on the court, you may see me hold my arm but I’m not going to use it as an excuse. If D. West is out there, it’s the same way. That’s how we play. That’s our mentality. We show up Monday night and we’re on the court and we’re playing. Don’t ask me how I feel. I’m going to play regardless. I’m not going to use it as an excuse. We’re a no excuse team.”

Kevin Garnett

On his thoughts when Rajon Rondo was taken off the court: “Honestly I was like, ‘Oh. Here we go again.’ It seems like we’ve been hit with the injury bug pretty hard this year. At that point, you just hope that he’s alright. I was right there when it happened. I was just trying to get him to relax. You see one of your brothers go down, the first thing you think because we were all there when Marquis (Daniels) went down. It’s never a good feeling. (It’s) someone’s father. It’s someone’s brother, someone’s son is on the floor hurt. My first thoughts were just his well being. I was just trying to get him to calm down and relax. You could tell he was breathing a little bit irregularly. I knew he was hurt. He’s a real tough dude. I’ve seen him play through some injuries. I saw his face. I knew he was kind of beat up. I was just trying to give him some confidence at that point.”

On how he felt when Rondo came back into the game: “I’ve seen him play through some (injuries). I’m not going to go through the list of injuries that you all are unaware of. I’m not going to put him out there like that but I’ve seen him play through some horrific injuries. All of us sort of look at each other like, ‘What is he doing out here? Is he being smart right now?’ When he came in, it was just typical Rondo. Shorty is a really tough, young individual and I don’t know what he’s going to be like when he’s 35 but right now he’s playing through a lot. He’s showing a lot of heart (and) a lot of grit. We see it. That doesn’t go unspoken or unseen. We see he’s out there giving his full effort. We’re following that lead.”

Miami coach Eric Spoelstra: “I’m sure it gave them a lift.  But they had already established an energy to the game.  They hit us first, they knocked us back, we took a few hits to the chin and we weren’t able to respond in a positive manner.  We’ve handled adversity and been able to bounce back well, and I anticipate we will, and we do.  We have great respect for what they’ve done and it will take our best effort along with very efficient basketball to beat them.”

Dwayne Wade on his collision with Rondo: “It’s a physical game, the game of basketball is a physical game. I’m not a dirty player, it’s physical. Everyone falls to the ground, everyone gets hurt, people get up. It was one of those things that you can’t really look at. Unfortunately you could tell that he dislocated his elbow. I’m not a doctor, but the way that it looked it was one of those things that you don’t want to look at. When guys like that, you move out the way and let the doctors get to it as soon as possible.”

“We play this game as competitors, we never want to see anyone hurt whether it is a friend or not a friend. It’s someone that we have respect for in this game. We have respect for each other. You never want to see no one get hurt, no matter what kind of injury it is. Kudos to him for coming back.

“That’s a tough injury to come back from that fast. It shows a lot as a leader of that team to come back and have the performance that he had with that injury. You never want to see anybody get hurt. We’re just glad that he was able to come back from it. Even though, people think that without Rondo they would be a different team, we want the Boston Celtics. We want them to be whole. Hopefully Monday he is there and he is ready to go.”

LeBron James: “You definitely don’t want to see anyone have, I guess what we call freak injuries. As competitive as we all are, us against Boston we definitely don’t want to see something like that happen. On the injury side, we basically hope the best for him and hopefully it wasn’t as bad as it looked from the floor. He (Wade) had a better angle than I did, but I seen it somewhat. Let’s just hope that it’s not something that can effect him long term.”

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • I gotta say… As bad as the play was, I realized it was just part of the game, and accidents happen. What I can't handle, really, is the way Wade answered the question he was asked, which really boiled down to "People are going to be calling you a dirty player. What are your thoughts on that?" It's like he didn't really try to say that he wasn't. He acted like he didn't understand the question.

    I don't think it was Wade's intention to have that happen. If asked again today, he'll probably give a better answer. But I think we need to be more focused on making sure Rondo's going to be able to play for the rest of the postseason, because otherwise… Our run is going to be very, very short.

    • Kevin

      I agree with you and I thinkyou are right, but I am still kinda pissed off at DWade for his attitude. the shoulder he put into Pierce (that PPs reaction got him tossed) and this take down are dirty Ron Artest cheap-o moves and I have less respect for him from now on as a result. I hope Boston serves him a heavy dose of come-up-ans over the next 3 boston victories.

    • mississippi mudpie

      Wade's intentions were to pull Rondo down, not injury him. You could tell he was pulling him down no matter what. I wouldn't call him a dirty player, i would call it a cheap play. Pierce would do the same to lebron or wade if he was in that situation. The problem is, Wade has been doing a lot of cheap plays in this series, especially around screens, that unless the Celtics put an end to it and start to foul him hard, he's not gonna stop. The Heat are the more physical team. The Celtics are getting beat at their own game. I'm not sure Perk wins the Celtics game 1 or game 2, but he had no problem giving a hard foul and throwing guys on the floor. Hopefully Shaq can give them 8-10 minutes and 3-4 hard fouls. If not, Lebron and Wade will keep getting to the rim and close this out in 6.

      Seeing him come back on the court, Rondo's performance gave me chills. With him and D West both hurting with arm/shoulder injuries, its hard seeing the Celtics put up a fight like they did in game 3, when KG drops 28 and 18. I'm not sure KG, PP can sustain their big time play with back to back monster performances. Let's hope they can.

    • JCP

      I agree with you all (Develaine, mudpie and Kevin) as well. I definitely don't think he really intended to hurt Rondo… but my biggest issue was that the ball was OUT OF BOUNDS. It is crazy to me that nobody seemed to care that Rondo was being pulled down, essentially, after the play. That just makes it a lot closer to 'dirty' than 'physical.

  • Viva

    Well, I lost respect for him back in February with that cheap punch on KG, and all of this just confirms my thought that he is very frustrated by C's, maybe to that level that he can't even look at green color. He really had some nasty moves towards this team, and I, not only as a C's fan, but fan of this game also, I do not like it at all. Not even if he's on my team. There are some things that you just don't do. That's just stupid. Don't get me wrong, he still is a great player, but those moves will not gain him any more respect from anyone. And his attitude about it, just more wrong.

  • Zee

    A lot missing from this article. No mention of Wade doing a take down of Rondo. That should’ve been called. He clearly swept his leg behind Rondo to take him down. The commentator even said Wade pulled him down. Did he mean to dislocate Rondo’s elbow? Maybe not, but he certainly mean o pound him to the ground, else that much force wouldn’t have bent his arm… not normally.

    Then Wade gets up showing little concern that Rondo is hurt. He got up, walked away and waved his hand at Rondo like “whatever.” I guess he did know the damage done. Then in his presser he played dumb to the first question about being seen as a dirty play.

    Also, no mention of LeBron saying the reporter was “retarded” under his breath to a hot mic.

    Wade is the same guy who rammed his shoulder into Paul’s chest like a linebacker in Game 1.

    Sparkly clean? Okay.

    • kricky

      Damn, I didn't catch that. Thanks for pointing it out Zee.

      And it was a female reporter too.

      Just shows what a classless douchebag he is. I hope he NEVER gets a ring.

      • Andrew

        Too bady he's already got one…

        • talesofJP

          LBJ doesn't i think thats what he was referring to, LBJ name-calling the reporter

  • Andrew

    I think people are reacting to the result of the play as much as the play itself. If Rondo falls hard but doesn't get hurt, there wouldn't be nearly the outcry of Wade being a dirty player. He was trying to keep Rondo away from the ball and they got tangled up. That said, there's a lot of chippy play in this series and the it's the combination of all the Wade incidents that people are really reacting to. Hopefully it gives the C's a bit more motivation for Monday.

  • zues

    Is this a girly sport or a mans game stop crying its playoff basketball rondo never said it was dirty cause its playoff basketball I hope he comes back for game 4 and you will see more of the same hard man basketball you pansy!!!!!!!!

    • mendell

      Rondo weighs about a buck forty. That won't help prevent many injuries.

  • Jen

    "On if he knew right away he had dislocated his shoulder…"
    Should be elbow, shouldn't it? Unless he's dislocated THAT, as well…

  • Randy

    I can't believe that there is this much of a debate. Clearly, Miami's strategy in this series is too get really physical with Boston. While that makes all the sense in the world, Wade has obviously taken that approach to the extreme. Dirty isn't the right word for his tactics. "Weasel" seems to fit the bill best. Rondo steps up on D and shuts Wade down. As Wade watches the ball rolling out of bounds, he throws his weight into Rondo to prevent him from coming around for the steal. This is all fine and, I agree, falls under the description of playoff basketball. The Weasel comes out when he loses his footing and makes sure to drag Rondo to the ground with him. The reason athletes get so worked up about cheap shots is their potential for injury. Wade has become a master of the cheap shot: not hard fouls, but sneaky fouls that easily escape the attention of the refs.

    Rondo, Doc and the rest of the team have handled all the questions with incredible class. Rondo's return was amazing. I regret ever questioning his commitment to the team and to winning. Miami has become so hate-able It's hard to imagine Boston coming out of this ruckus, as beat up as they are. All we can hope for is one final showing of greatness willed from the depths of some of the game's greatest competitors of all time.

  • Cory

    One question, if that was another superstar like kobe, lebron, D Howard, would there have been an ejection. How does David Stern not address this being the fact the ball was out of bounds?

    • talesofJP

      either way Wade is a superstar so he will get away with it.

  • Heat Dynasty

    See you lonely Celtic fans don’t have anything to talk about but accusing a Miami player of being dirty! You guys will have a lot to talk about once this is done in two games! With or without Rondo you guys are done! It sucks to get a little of your own medicine, huh?? Dirty Ass Rondo, Garnett, Pierce, etc!!

    Miami Heat all the way!!! Keep HATING!!! Feels good over here in Miami!!! Ha!

    • Jade

      Psssh. You lonely Miami fans don't have anything to do but troll Celtics blogs.

  • nba fan

    I betcha rondo could not play with a phantom elbow injury that did lbj in witht he celts. Let Rondo Say he feels numb and let him shoot the free throw with the freaking left hand. Thats heart. Saying you injured your elbow, all mri are negative and no proof of an injury. Thats heart thats a true player. Dislocating your elbow is nothing. I was there when Lbj ripped his elbow to shreds against boston. It was all messed up man he couldnt shoot his free throw or nothing!!! At the press conference the guy was verrry quwiet (elmer fudd spelling) when wad discussed having heart after coming back

  • Heat Dynasty

    That’s right! True Heat fan Jade!! Funny how thrre is no additional comments!!

    LMAO!!! Gooooo Heatttttt!!!!