For the first few months of the 2013-14 season, Rajon Rondo was by all accounts a model citizens for the new-look Boston Celtics on and off the floor. This weekend though, we saw the first potential blip on the radar for the Celtics’ captain. According to the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett, Rondo did not travel with the team to Sacramento for Saturday night’s game and his absence was unauthorized.
Rondo celebrated his 28th birthday on Saturday night, and according to the Herald report he did it in Los Angeles with friends and family, staying behind after the team loss to the Lakers on Saturday night.
The Celtics planned to have Rondo rest for the second half of the back-to-back against the Kings, but apparently the team still anticipated on him traveling with the team to Sacramento. Here’s more from Bulpett:
While some were displeased by the move, for which Rondo did not receive official permission, others pointed out he was not scheduled to play in the game anyway (on the second night of a back-to-back), and that he may have simply been making some assumptions based on precedent.
The captain didn’t want to get into the matter before last night’s 110-98 loss to the Jazz.
“We already talked about it,” Rondo said. “There’s nothing to talk about.”
That doesn’t appear to be the case. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge said yesterday he is still looking into the situation.
“I plan on talking to Rondo when he gets back into town,” he told the Herald. “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.”
CH’s Take: This may just be a minor issue, but coming on the heels of Rondo being in reported trade talks all the way up until the trade deadline last Thursday, the timing does not look good. While there will appear to be no on the court discipline, based on the fact that Rondo played last night, Ainge’s comments do not rule out a fine for his captain’s actions.
Did Rondo make an innocent mistake here or was this a defiant move on the heels of being shopped yet again? It’s too early to know, but Brad Stevens’ comments on the matter tomorrow night will be telling.