Rajon Rondo’s maturity issues shaping 2012 NBA Playoffs
Every time Rajon Rondo does something “immature”, sports writers across the country start chiming in about how Rondo has anger issues and creates problems in the locker room.
Normally I credit this to the writers not liking Rondo, since he usually answers post-game questions with one-word answers, but for today, I can’t say I disagree with them. Getting called for a technical foul, bumping an official and getting ejected with 41 seconds left in Game 1 of your first round playoff series with the Hawks is just stupid.
From Fox News…
Take your pick. Whether it’s Rajon Rondo bumping an official in Atlanta, Amar’e Stoudemire losing his fight with a fire extinguisher in Miami or Chicago native Evan Turner turning his home city and coach against him with his mouth, these NBA playoffs are being shaped by some serious maturity issues.
Boston Celtics basketball chief Danny Ainge has flirted with trading Rondo on more than one occasion in the past. That fact is certainly not tied to the Kentucky product’s ability as a basketball player; Boston remains concerned with perceived anger management issues.
One incident in particular highlighted Ainge’s problem with Rondo’s temper. According to multiple media reports at the time, Rondo threw a bottle that shattered a video screen following Game 2 of the Celtics’ 2011 playoff series with the Miami Heat.
Boston coach Doc Rivers was pointing out a few of Rondo’s errors in the game when the point guard balked and began calling out the miscues of his teammates. Rivers responded by scolding Rondo, who blew up and fled from the practice facility.
That was also Rondo’s rep with the Wildcats in college, where he often lashed out at coaches and teammates.
On the floor, Rondo has been as good as ever this season, becoming the game’s best pure playmaker, a true quarterback who was the first Celtic to lead the NBA in assists since Bob Cousy turned the trick in 1960.
“He’s the true definition of a point guard,” former Boston center Shaquille O’Neal said of Rondo. “He gets everyone involved and makes everyone better.”
That’s true but only when he is actually on the court. Rondo, of course, will be on the sidelines Tuesday for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in Atlanta.
The speedy point guard was ejected late in the Celtics’ 83-74 Game 1 loss to the Hawks for making contact with referee Marc Davis and was suspended for one game by the NBA on Monday. Rondo, who was tossed with 41 seconds remaining for chest bumping Davis following a foul call on Brandon Bass, finished with 20 points and 11 assists.
“As I was walking, I thought he stopped. My momentum carried me into him,” Rondo said of the chest bump. “I even think I tripped on his foot. I didn’t intentionally chest bump him, but that’s what it appears to be.”
The league obviously did not accept that explanation and whether intentional or not, touching a game official isn’t tolerated by the NBA. Doing it with 41 seconds remaining is just ignorant and Boston will be squarely behind the 8- ball, aiming to avoid a 2-0 deficit without arguably its best player.
“I can’t allow that,” NBA commissioner David Stern said in Indiana on Monday when talking about Rondo’s suspension. “If we don’t protect our officials in this fast-paced game with very large players, we’ve lost a lot in my mind.”