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Rajon Rondo skips Celtics trip to Sacramento without permission, may face team discipline

Feb 25, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT

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Rajon Rondo hasn’t been playing in second games of back-to-backs for the Celtics, as he continues to gain strength after missing most of last season and the first part of this one with a knee injury.

That little detail, along with the fact that friends and family were in Los Angeles to celebrate his birthday has Rondo in some trouble with the team for skipping out on the trip to Sacramento that followed Boston’s loss to the Lakers on Friday.

From Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald:

The Celtics are not taking it as a major issue, but the team is still hoping to straighten things out with Rajon Rondo after his decision to stay in Los Angeles and not accompany the team to Sacramento for Saturday’s game.

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. Multiple sources say he remained in LA for a birthday celebration. He turned 28 on Saturday. …

“I plan on talking to Rondo when he gets back into town,” [Celtics president Danny Ainge] 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.”

In a way, former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers can be blamed for Rondo’s minor misstep.

Rivers started this nonsense when he had veterans like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett out with injury, and didn’t require them to come to the arena on game days. It may have worked for an established head coach who was once a former player, and who had a veteran, championship-contending roster to deal with.

But Brad Stevens is in his first year as Celtics head coach, and with such a young team in place that’s trying to learn how to be part of a winning culture, Rondo’s presence would be a benefit in establishing that environment while leading by example.

At the very least, Rondo should have known better, and should have communicated his plans to the team so that this never became an issue.

  1. azarkhan - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Yes, the Rockets were crazy not to give up Chandler Parsons and two number 1 draft picks for Rondo. What a steal that would have been!

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Azar Khan = Troll

      • azarkhan - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        Now look what you’ve done, you’ve hurt my feelings.

  2. mackcarrington - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Oh, so this is Doc Rivers’ fault.

    • gymtruthteller - Feb 25, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      Partially yes it is. He let this kid get away with murder and now he thinks he has the right to do as he pleases. Rivers is partially to blame and Ainge is more to blame for letting him continue to do as he pleases.

  3. davidly - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Internally, huh? I wasn’t aware that the Boston Herald was part of the Celtic organization.

    • adoombray - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      The press always THINKS it is though, and gets really passive aggressive and self righteous like Brett just did when they don’t get a good quote.

      • Kurt Helin - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        For the record, Brett nor anyone from PBT was around Rondo looking for a quote. What Brett wrote is his opinion on the matter, that simple.

      • davidly - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:03 AM

        The author of this post does not work for the Herald. Maybe folks with the Herald are weasely. I dunno. I was commenting on the fact that Ainge commented at all. If he were handling it internally, he’d’ve had no comment.

  4. obmig - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Real team guy.

  5. ajsjr40 - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Rondo is a very good NBA player but not the kind of personality you build around. Ainge would have dumped him last year but for the injury.

  6. stayhigh_247 - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Rondo is forcing his way out, dude wants to win not rebuild, can you blame him?

    • nycalldayz - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      It’s possible. Right now the Celtics are terrible, and they’re in rebuild. Danny Ainge is always dangling Rondo’s name in trade rumors every year. Ainge has given no indication of what direction he plans to guide the Celtics. Will it be a 2 or 3, year rebuilding process?

      Rondo needs to wake up and realize that Ainge doesn’t see him in the Celtics long-term future. If I’m Rondo, I asked to be traded, but Rondo shouldn’t end his tenure in Boston on bad terms. This kind of incident doesn’t help his reputation.

      • adoombray - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        Ainge did not plan to get KG and Ray Allen, it kinda just fell in his lap. remember that for years KG refused to even entertain the notion of being traded out of his loyalty to the team. Then he changed his mind and things fell into place. It’s also not hard to see what’s left in the rebuilding process. Garnett basically coached Sullinger for a year to take his place and they are in a simple spot that lots of teams are in: “get a skilled Center”.

        Ainge is an outstanding general manager because he DOESN’T hold hard and fast to his specific plans, and he doesn’t fall in love with himself. He takes opportunities as they come. Would Ainge move Rondo for an amazing offer? sure, but it’s his job to fish for those offers, and it doesn’t mean that “Rondo isn’t in the future”.

    • adoombray - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      all they need is a big man and they have tons of assets to get one. They skipped the rebuild by fleecing the Nets and hit the Sullinger pick. They are a big man and a consistent swingman away.

      The one they need to trade is Jeff Green, not Rondo. Rondo is fine. Rondo as a jerk who doesn’t want to rebuild is a made up media storyline.

  7. nycalldayz - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    “In a way, former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers can be blamed for Rondo’s minor misstep”. So it’s Doc’s fault? Is there some personal beef between Brett Pollakoff and Doc Rivers that we the readers don’t know about? LOL

  8. rcp29 - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Hey Rajon! Danny A. here! So sorry we sent all your buddies to Brooklyn and that we’ve been trying to trade you for, like, three straight seasons. We’d really like it if you came to Sacramento to help make the other guys on the team better so we can trade them asap. But like not too much better because we’re trying to lose here lol! ANYWAY hit me back buddy!

  9. adoombray - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    “Rivers started this nonsense”

    Wooow, self righteous sportswriter much?

    He wasn’t playing in the game anyway and the team is tanking. I really don’t care if he was there sitting on the sidelines bored. That other stuff about Rivers and disciplining a young team… The sky will not fall and there will be no riots in Boston because Rondo celebrated his birthday, however, it is supposed to snow tomorrow and everyone is kinda angry about being snowed in AGAIN, so there’s that…

    • gymtruthteller - Feb 25, 2014 at 7:42 PM

      You are everything wrong with bandwagon fans.

  10. jimeejohnson - Feb 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Wonder when Rondo’s gonna lose his mind, again, and whip the basketball at some ref’s head. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  11. dablakdrphil - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Last I checked Doc Rivers was the GM and Head Coach of the LA Clippers and Brad Stevens is their current Head Coach, soooooo how is this Doc’s fault!?

  12. kamauthabiti - Feb 25, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    media loves to see (they demand it) player PUNISHED. what a weird brained bunch of people.

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