Update: Rajon Rondo Benched After Spat With Coach Rick Carlisle
Update: Rajon Rondo has been suspended for one game due to the altercation.
During yesterday’s match up against the Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks’ Rajon Rondo and head coach Rick Carlisle had a little disagreement that resulted in a heated exchange. While it is hard to see how the spat started, it happened during the third quarter with the Raptors up by seven.
Rondo was slowly taking the ball up the court, when Carlisle called a timeout. And when the players came over to the sideline, the altercation transpired: resulting in the head coach telling Rajon to take a seat, which is where he remained for the rest of the game.
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After the game, Carlisle continuously dodged questions about why he benched Rondo, calling the incident “a difference of opinion.” When asked “if the benching was disciplinary or a basketball decision,” he responded “It was a coach’s decision… I thought it worked out well, the other guys stepped up and we were able to win the game.” He is of course referring to the other starters and his bench — the latter scored 42 points in the team’s 99-92 win.
Then the reporter accused him of dancing around the question, which caused him to somewhat confirm that Rajon will start the next game.
As much as Carlisle makes it seem like the spat ended after the initial incident, there has to be a back story to this exchange: especially since Rondo responded to questions on the matter by saying, “We won. Discuss it with Rick.” But Dirk Nowitzki claimed this verbal sparring session could be a good thing: “Sometimes dustups can even bring you together. I remember Coach had a dustup with Jet [Jason Terry] right before the playoffs in 2011 and that probably was the best thing that happened to us.”
Still, while uSports cannot comment on the behind the scenes nature of the situation, it does not look good when it happens so close to the playoffs: especially since Rajon’s numbers have wavered since changing teams — only 9 PPG and 6.2 APG.
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