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.