If there's one thing that has been proven out in the last year it is that Rajon Rondo has a trigger. He walks around with this stoic, unflappable face. Yet, underneath facade is a guy that is fueled with swirling emotions that nobody really understands. When he feels wronged, he reacts, sometimes violently. Last night was just the latest incident where Rondo's emotions got the best of him.
He will get a call from NBA disciplinarian Stu Jackson today, at which time he will learn the length of his latest vacation. For the third time in less than a year, the Celtics [team stats] will not have Rondo because Rondo indulged his emotions. After throwing a ball at referee Sean Wright in February and bumping into official Marc Davis in April, he said that he would learn from his transgressions. "Yeah, but usually he goes after the refs," cracked Doc Rivers. "This time it was another guy, so that’s better, I guess."
Add to that list the time in the film room a couple years back where someone questioned Rondo in a way that prompted him to throw a bottle that broke a TV screen. Also, fair or not, you could add whatever it is that happened between he and Ray Allen.
Each case by itself can be explained, rationalized, and forgiven. It is the trend that is more troublesome.
Regarding last night, it was only right for him to back up his teammate and stand up for him. I would even make the case that it is admirable on some level that he cared so much about his teammate that he never thought for a moment about preserving his streak and a chance to eclipse Magic Johnson. But there's a line that he crossed when he tumbled into the stands with Humphries and it will end up hurting the Celtics for at least a game or two after last night's loss.
As Bulpett speaks about in his article, apologies were made after the two incidents with the officials. He promised to hold his temper more in check. But obviously it is still an issue. It doesn't matter the circumstance either. Last year it happened in the first round of the playoffs. When will the next blow up happen?
Don't get me wrong, I'm still a huge Rajon fan. You take the good with the bad with these guys. But perhaps Rajon needs to take a page or two from the guy that he was sticking up for.
Kevin Garnett has a legendary intensity and has as much of a temper as anyone. He gets into shoving matches with guys about once a week. But he's mastered the art of knowing when to walk away and how to put his arms up in the air to say "I'm stopping, if anything else happens it is his fault."
There's that subtle and unwritten line that the league will not allow its players to cross without punishment. Rondo either hasn't figured out where that line is or doesn't care. But this team is sunk without Rondo so I hope he can figure it out soon.