Rajon Rondo skips Celtics’ trip to Sacramento over weekend to stay in L.A. to celebrate birthday
The Boston Celtics played the Los Angeles Lakers in a road game on Friday and following the game (a 101-92 loss), the team embarked upon a visit to Sacramento as the team was scheduled to play the Kings on Saturday.
One problem: Rajon Rondo wasn’t along for the ride. Instead, Rondo elected to stay in L.A. and celebrate his birthday with family and friends who had traveled to Los Angeles to be with Rondo, who turned 28 on Saturday.
Rondo, as he regains strength in his surgically repaired knee, typically has not been playing on the back end of back-to-back games, so he wasn’t going to be suiting up anyway for Saturday’s game against the Kings. But according to reports out of Boston, Rondo did not receive official permission from the team to skip out on the trip to Sac-Town.
The guard attempted to sidestep the potential controversy following the team’s 110-98 loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday.
“We already talked about it,” Rondo said, according to a Boston Herald report. “There’s nothing to talk about.”
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, however, certainly seems to have a different perspective than Rondo as it relates to the confusion.
“I plan on talking to Rondo when he gets back into town,” Ainge said. “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.”
Fair enough, and it’s likely that little more will need to be done to get the Celtics and Rondo back on the same page. Had he simply told the team he was going to hang in LA. — since he wasn’t going to be playing — things may have played out differently.
On the other hand, what would have happened if Rondo told the team he was planning on staying in L.A. and the Celtics weren’t okay with it and threatened to fine him if he went through with his plans? Or even worse, if the team went so far as to demand that Rondo accompany him on the trip to Sacramento?
Obviously, that’s not how it played out, but perhaps it’s a good thing Rondo didn’t inform the Celtics of his intentions. Had he done so, it could have precipitated an unfortunate, messy and arguably unnecessary confrontation. He wasn’t going to play anyway and perhaps this can all be chalked up as a misunderstanding, an isolated incident that won’t happen again.
And yet, it really doesn’t say much about the level of Rondo’s commitment to the team, nor does it speak much to just how far the Celtics are wiling to go to provide the impression the team is trying to run a tight ship, either.
All this on the heels of Rondo’s name being bandied about quite a bit leading up to the NBA trade deadline last week. One is left to wonder if the two are related somehow.
[H/T Pro Basketball Talk]