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Rondo Admits Suspension Was Result On Hanging Up On League, Discusses Poor Reputation

Rajon Rondo was suspended for the Boston Celtics' win over the New York Knicks on Monday night for contact made with a referee against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night and “failure to cooperate with a league investigation.”

Video shows Rondo talking to Rodney Mott, who laughs in return, after an offensive foul was called. On Tuesday, Rondo said: “I know Rodney, and I made a joke and he laughed and in the midst, I touched him.”

While contact with an official draws an automatic penalty, it did appear innocuous. Still, Rondo was suspended and initially it seemed to be a result of his reputation.

“I don’t think I did anything wrong.” Rondo insisted on Wednesday night. “The comment I made to Rodney, if you look at the tape, he laughed so it was more so what happened with the investigation. I don’t know if anybody has ever been suspended for that either. That’s the rep I’ve earned, but I have to move on and just get back to playing the game.”

In discussing the situation again, Rondo revealed that the punishment came as a result of the league’s investigation. A few moments later, he was asked by a reporter what he thought about the one-game suspension Carmelo Anthony received for a post-game confrontation with Kevin Garnett.

That’s when Rondo, in passing, seemed to indicate that he was suspended because he hung up on a league official.

“Man, I get suspended for a phone hang up and people get away with anything,” Rondo said in reference to his own actions and those of Anthony, who attempted to confront Garnett by Boston’s bus on Monday night.

Without directly admitting it, Rondo clarified exactly why the NBA suspended him for the Knicks’ game. He likely received a call from Stu Jackson and didn’t like how the conversation was going, opting to hang up the phone rather than continue the conversation. There’s your “failure to cooperation with a league investigation.”

He played the victim in the wake of the suspension, but in reality Rondo could have avoided the suspension by simply answering the NBA’s questions. The Celtics beat the Knicks, so he didn’t cost them a victory, but these are the types of things he has done more than once before.

While talking about his reputation, Rondo revealed that he believes the media and league judge him unfairly.

“The fans still love me,” he said. “They don’t really judge me as much as the media does. That’s part of it. That’s part of the job, that’s part of the role I’ve come into -- the player you guys think I am.”

When asked if he felt he has a reputation with the league, Rondo was passive-aggressive.

“I can’t comment on who did the suspension, you know, but we play in a dictatorship,” he said.

Rondo wasn’t eligible to play against the Knicks, but made his way into stories by showing up in video of Anthony trying to confront Garnett. Almost shocked that he was implicated and recognized, Rondo insisted that he wasn’t trying to escalate the situation.

“I was pretty comfortable,” Rondo said of the situation. “I didn’t want anything to happen to the big fella and I have my teammates’ back, but nobody was looking for a fight or anything. We were just trying to break it up and I was there for my teammate.

“Just because I get suspended doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.”


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