The media is an odd sort of thing. Sometimes things that seem like a big deal are handled lightly and sometimes that seem like a small thing are blown out of proportion. I tend to believe that this Birthdaygate business with Rondo falls into the latter category, but enough people are obviously concerned about it so I feel obligated to cover it.
First of all, Rondo was asked about the incident for the first time. Here was his response.
But when asked what he makes of all the commotion stemming from his absence in Sacramento, Rondo remained familiarly defiant. "I haven't really read much about it," he said. "I heard a lot of comments. Nobody knows the story, so [the media can] keep making up every story you guys possibly can." So, then, what is the story? "It's my business," Rondo said. "It's my choice."
Some, like Forsberg in the above story place much of the blame on Rondo himself. Saying that he brings this upon himself with his defiance.
Part of what makes Rondo great is his stubbornness. But it's also his worst flaw. As any married man knows, there are simply times you must admit fault, even when you're absolutely certain than none exists.
So even if Rondo had all the necessary signatures for his L.A. spree day, he should have realized, at least amid the fallout, that it simply looked bad.
Personally I don't agree with anything beyond the first sentence of that quote. I do understand that if Rondo had a different kind of personality, much of this would blow over faster. If he was playful and charismatic, the media would eat that up and it would be gone in an instant. But you can't force someone to be different than what they are. For good or bad, Rondo is who he is.
Others, like me, believe that this became an issue in the public because Danny Ainge made it that way.
And it should continued to be talked about if only for the fact that Celtics president Danny Ainge chose to talk about it in a published report on Tuesday, and Celtics coach Brad Stevens didn’t exactly dismiss the idea that there was some sort of real disagreement between coach and player before Wednesday night’s game.
What Ainge's motivations were behind this are beyond me. I trust that we'll get some additional insight from him when he's on the radio this morning.
Then there's the guy that wrote the story originally. Steve Bulpett doesn't even know what all the fuss is over.
Rondo committed an off-court turnover and he may well be fined, and then it will be over. And if the Celts luck out in the draft lottery and can add another player or two and get good next season, the Sacramento Slip will be a humorous anecdote, if it is recalled at all. So why the blaring vitriol? Why the flying elbows off the top rope?
Bottom line to me is this: He obviously did something wrong. However, everyone in the situation from Rondo to Ainge to Stevens appears to think it isn't that big of a deal. So why does it seem like so many people want to make it one?
Personally I wonder if this will all have long standing impacts on Rondo's perception of the Boston media and the city itself. Not just this incident, but the countless trade rumors, the Ray Allen feud of years past, and the frequent judging of his moral character.
He'll be a free agent next summer, but not before he goes through another round of trade rumors this summer (and maybe at the trade deadline next year as well). There's a chance that at some point, he'll decide that it just isn't worth it going through this in this town. And if this minor incident contributes to that in any way, that would be a shame.
I'm not saying that the team should pander to Rondo's every whim or that the media shouldn't do their jobs the best way they see fit. I'm just shaking my head at the situation as a whole and throwing my hands up in exasperation.