Sunday, May 19, 2013
By Latin Times Staff Writer, Jan 08, 2013 02:48 PM EST
(PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters) Rajon Rondo (9) was banned following the team’s game Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks.
Was Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo suspended unfairly?
Following the player's one game suspension without pay for making contact with a referee and failure to cooperate with an NBA investigation, Celtics coach Doc Rivers wondered aloud if Rondo's punishment was as much for his actions as it was his reputation, saying he was disappointed with the league's decision.
When the league announced Rondo's one-game suspension Monday, Rivers said there was a conversation between Rondo and the league about the incident, but believes the league might have already made up its mind by that point.
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"Not much reaction, I'm just disappointed," said Rivers. "I actually saw it when it happened and I didn't think anything of it, honestly -- and obviously, the official [Rodney Mott] didn't either. They didn't call a tech. But you know the old saying: You're not given a reputation, you earn one. I'm sure that had a lot to do with it as well. Listen, we just move on, for us. I'm far more focused on the game tonight than that decision."
Rondo was banned following the team's game Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks. With 3:19 remaining in the third quarter of the Celtics' 89-81 victory, referees called an offensive foul on Rondo as he drove his way to the basket. Rondo reportedly went up to referee Rodney Mott, bumping into him as the two walked back up the court. The one-game ban forced Rondo to miss Monday's game against the New York Knicks, with Jason Terry starting in his place alongside Avery Bradley for the Celtics.
Asked by a reporter if he was concerned if Rondo's reputation would work against him from now on, Rivers responded, "From now on?!" As the Associated Press notes, Rondo has already been suspended four times in last year alone, and three of those incidents involved game officials.
What's Rivers' plan to fix that?
"We just work on it, everyday," said Rivers. "He's going to play a long time, and he has a lot of time to change (his reputation)."
Like Rivers, Celtics guard Courtney Lee said he was knocked back by the news of Rondo's suspension.
"I kind of am surprised, because usually when a play like that happens during the game, everybody notices it. And for it to be so minor during the game and not even the fans that were there, not even the other team or our team witnessed it, so..." said Lee trailing off, as he seemed to realize he didn't want to be too critical of the league for fear of getting fined.
"You know, I don't want to say too much about that situation," said Lee. "I just didn't see it. I didn't see it."
When questioned if it was discouraging losing Rondo before a big game, Lee said, "Definitely. Something of that nature, of course, with our point guard being out. We've won two games in a row... and we're trying to get to three and continue to go, then when something like this happens, it's definitely a dagger to us. But other guys in the locker room have got to step up and go out there and perform."