Rajon Rondo was ejected from Sunday night’s NBA Playoff Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks for chest bumping referee Marc Davis after being called for a technical. The NBA has given him a one-game suspension, which means he will be out for Game 2. The question must be asked, what the heck was Rondo thinking?
Under no circumstances, especially in a playoff game, should an NBA player bump into an official. This has got to be one of the stupidest decisions Rondo has ever made. The Celtics are already playing without Ray Allen and they can definitely not lose Rondo for any significant amount of time.
Rondo was quickly dismissed with 0:41 remaining in the game, but the Celtics were only down by four points which means they still had a realistic shot at coming out ahead (do not count any team out after what happened in Game 1 of Los Angeles Clippers–Memphis Grizzlies matchup).
Rondo told reporters after the game he was upset with the call and showed his frustration about it to Davis. He went on to explain how he did not think Davis was going to stop abruptly (when Davis turned to the scorer’s table to signal the technical) and because of that he tripped over Davis’ shoe and bumped into him. When watching the replay it is clear Rondo trips over Davis’ right shoe, however, he does stop in time without the need to run into Davis. It is obvious that Rondo added the chest bump for good measure, which is why the league gave him a one-game suspension.
“Well, they ran into each other, no doubt about it,” said Boston head coach Doc Rivers. “I thought it was a bump and the league’s going to do what they have to do. I still don’t think it was ever intentional. I just think you get heated and I think he was more upset from the missed call the play before — the out of bounds play. I thought that started it.”
Rivers is referring to an out-of-bounds call prior to this incident in which the Celtics should have been awarded the possession but the call went in Atlanta’s favor. Rondo was involved in that play and it was clear he was not happy about that call.
Regardless of heated emotions, Rondo must realize he is Boston’s best chance of moving on past Atlanta. The last thing the Celtics need is to drop another loss and be down two games in the series. This is clearly a momentum swing and it will be hard for Boston to weather the storm without their starting point guard.
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