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Rondo On Absence: “It’s My Business”


By now, you’ve probably heard that Rajon Rondo missed Boston’s loss to Sacramento (a game, incidentally, in which he wasn’t going to play anyway) and you’ve probably also formed an opinion one way or the other about the media’s coverage of that story.

Rondo, for his part, claims he hasn’t.

“I haven’t really read much about it,” he told the media after last’s win over Atlanta. “I heard a lot of comments. Nobody knows the story, so [the media can] keep making up every story you guys possibly can.”

What exactly is the story?

“It’s my business,” Rondo said. “It’s my choice.”

There are two things to keep in mind. First, Rondo undoubtedly knew the questions were coming. This isn’t a big deal, but in a slow post-trade deadline news week (and in a season where actual game results mean very little), the Boston media was going to be understandably inquisitive.

Second, the media had to know this would be Rondo’s reaction. He has never been one for contrition, whether he is right or wrong, and he has never really enjoyed conversing with the media anyway. He doesn’t enjoy being poked and prodded, and any persistence on this story was going to be greeted icily.

According to Stevens, the team is handling things and is mostly ready to move on.

“I’ve talked to him, and we’re handling all of that internally,” Stevens said. “We sat down and talked Monday. In my mind we’re moving forward, and when Danny gets back in town they can meet, and we’ll move on from there. The biggest thing right now is for me to move forward and us to move forward. It’s a great question to ask, and something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. But I’ve passed that point.”

Let’s not read into Stevens’ comment about spending a lot of time thinking about the situation: He seems like the kind of guy who spends a lot of time thinking about his morning coffee order. Rather, Stevens’ comments seem like he respectfully doesn’t think the situation is a big deal, but he wants to wait for Danny Ainge to return from his college scouting trip.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe has a nice, measured take on the situation.

Rondo has been a model citizen in this transition season, which has been a surprise to many around the team.


Rondo hasn’t asked out. He has bonded with Stevens, given an open ear to his teammates, and has recovered methodically and impressively from a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. It seems as if the team would have allowed him to celebrate his birthday if he had given it enough respect to inform officials of his plans.

This could be characterized as a misunderstanding but definitely not a major issue. Rondo has built enough equity to be excused for his disregard of the rules, but he has to realize that incidents such as these don’t help his perception outside the organization.

One way or the other, you can bet more questions will be asked until either someone clears the story up or another larger story takes its place. If Phil Pressey were a REAL team player, he’d haul off and whack someone in Boston’s next game to take the heat off Rondo.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • The Cardinal

    I’m okay with that answer because the real reason this “story” continues to be brought up is media-driven focus on minutiae because of a dearth of substantive, post-trade deadline stories. Rondo’s actions had zero effect on the team’s performance on the basketball court. Honestly, the NBA is a league of grown-ass men, not kids, and no one can reasonably expect adults in general to always behave in some almost-unachievable manner (in other words, they generally behave like adults the world over regardless of their employer).

    Rondo played last night (and played well) – end of discussion. If Danny had felt that something punitive needed to be done (or done and shared with the media), Danny would have said something more, not Rondo.

    • Robert

      Almost-unachievable? We’re talking about showing up for work every day you’re scheduled to work. If you can’t go into work that day, you need to let your boss know. I’m pretty sure all of us handle this day after day, year after year.

      Skipping work generally leads to being fired. That’s the real world for grown-ass men.

      • The Cardinal

        Nope, he wasn’t working that night. And by virtue of the fact that he wasn’t fired, fined or otherwise punished indicates that whatever happened has been accepted by his employer. You, sir, are not his employer so you – like the rest of us – are relying on media reports that have no clue as to what actually went on between employee and employer.

        BTW, I’ve been in the workforce almost 40 years and I can’t recall a single instance where anyone was fired for a single offense of missing work (and I’ve worked as slave, slave driver, and everything in-between). In some instances, employees may have been warned or put on notice of potential progressive discipline if the unwanted behavior recurred, but in the “real” world, stuff happens with bosses as well as employees and life generally goes on as long as the unwanted behavior doesn’t become a pattern of disruptive behavior.

  • hax

    He’s getting double-doubles with this crew.

    • hax

      Meaning instead of ‘Hall of Famers making Rondo look good’, it was indeed ‘Rondo extending their careers’.

      • jpbl1976

        Exactly. Have you seen Truth and KG at Brooklyn. Painful to watch at times.

  • Emg

    I have a different take on this. I think if it wasn’t a case of Rondo knowingly exerting power and being aggressive – if not, the incident would be characterized by everyone as an innocent administrative error. Instead, it seems like Ainge and Stevens are upset and applying murky rhetoric. If this wasn’t a big deal it wouldn’t require in person talks w Ainge or ‘moving forward’ or having it be ‘internal’. They’d just be chirpy and joke about the media.

  • trashandsend

    Given his overall record, Danny Ainge deserves some respect. Rondo too, indeed more so: he’s played at a more consistently high level than his boss, and taken greater risks in doing so. And that boss, as far as I can tell, seems determined to provoke his best player, most recently by putting him out for trade and then denying it, letting Rondo stew over media reports that Ainge coyly sort-of denied.

    Now this. Unless Ainge’s strategy is to bait Rondo into demanding a trade; and, in doing so, he believes this sort of Mickey Mousing over a missed game will somehow increase his market value to Boston, I simply don’t get it. By inflating a small potato into a large boil, methinks Ainge will manage to do the Cs far more (unnecessary) damage than he will Rondo. Time to grow up Danny–you’re supposed to be the adult in this tango.

  • hax

    Can’t wait for this draft. I really hope we can move some non-future guys like Bass and such for 2nd rounders at least.

    You look at mock drafts & watch college basketball. Guys you’d expect in the lottery are 2nd round or undrafted in mock drafts. Insane.

  • DeVelaine

    And this is one of the reasons I love watching and reading about Rondo. He’s not afraid to give people that “You’re an idiot, and you don’t know it” look when he’s asked dumb questions. He’s not afraid to remind the media (in not so many words) that his personal life doesn’t belong in their articles, or even in their heads. The only thing that matters is what happens on the court.

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