Brad Stevens On Rajon Rondo Skipping Trip to Sacramento Without Permission

Rondo and the Celtics are home, so maybe this story will go to bed. But until then, let's talk about it.

BOSTON - Los Angeles is a lot more fun than Sacramento. It's fair to assume that's the gist of what Rajon Rondo told Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens Saturday when he stayed behind in LA from the Sactown trip to celebrate his 28th birthday.

While it has reportedly gotten him in hot water, Brad Stevens said Wednesday, "I think the biggest thing right now is for me to move forward and for us to move forward." With no punishment handed down (publicly) and with Rondo starting Wednesday, it's also fair to assume that this has and will blow over.

But with the team maintaining a bottom-five position in the standings and holding onto key contributors like Kris Humphries and Brandon Bass, the disruption factors as more than a hiccup in the long-term scheme of things with the former All-Star. Rondo was tasked last year with becoming the team leader. That fell pretty flat on its face before his year was cut short. Now there's another piece of evidence to intimate - merely intimate - that Rondo's connection with the rest of the locker room is not on the dependable level required from a star leader.

But after a month of play, the chemistry on the court and his aggressiveness with the ball have shown improvement. More floor time with new teammates like Kelly Olynyk has improved the team's dynamic and increased the pace of play. But once again, Rondo has found himself in a compromising position that makes the concept of him carrying a franchise highly questionable.

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