The Boston Celtics missed an opportunity to close out the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, dropping an 87-86 road affair that gives Atlanta the chance to knot their first-round series in Boston on Thursday night. Near misses like the one Boston had at Philips Arena tend to stick in a player's craw, especially when the player singlehandedly got his flagging team back into the game and conjured a chance to win it out of thin air, only to see it end in a trap, a turnover and a loss, extending a series that player felt his team already had won.
So, yeah, Rajon Rondo — whom NBA fans know to be a quiet, reserved and occasionally volatile sort as it is — was a little bit salty when he spotted a cameraman filming him after Boston's Tuesday night loss:
While waiting to take the podium for his postgame media session, Rondo noticed a cameraman filming his idle chatter. The point guard pointed at the cameraman (which, if I was the cameraman, would probably have me thinking, "Oh, crap") before walking over to voice his displeasure.
"Listen — how many times I'mma tell you?" Rondo asks. "You are not filming me. I told you to quit filming. Do not film me. I'm not doing an interview right now. I just told you."
The progression is simple — Emotional Dude fresh off a tough loss wants to have a couple of moments with some people close to him before he steps up to the podium and talks about not having his best performance and his team dropping a winnable playoff game; Emotional Dude sees a camera encroaching on those moments; Emotional Dude responds in an emotional fashion; Emotional Dude comes off looking like kind of a jerk, especially after "Inside the NBA" host Ernie Johnson tags the encounter with a terse "Whatever."
You can understand Rondo's frustration, and he didn't escalate the hostilities beyond a reasonable level — any reasonable person sees the difference between this and stuff like the run-ins that guys like Randy Johnson and Kenny Rogers had with cameramen — but he's pretty clearly in the wrong here.
That cameraman's job description is pretty much entirely to film whatever players are doing in press-accessible areas of the arena, whether it's walking from the garage to the locker room, chatting in the hallway or, yes, waiting to start a press conference. It's not like the cameraman was accosting Rondo at his house or rifling through his trash, or even walking into the dressing room before it had been officially opened to working media. He was just pointing his camera at an athlete in a place where he's totally within his rights and responsibilities to do so; the only reason we're talking about this as a "confrontation" is because Rondo boiled over about it.
And also, because Rondo was wearing that borderline unbelievable jacket, which the "Inside the NBA" crew quickly cut to shreds, throughout the ordeal. Obviously.
Seeing someone look that angry while wearing something like that — that amazing combination of thin black-and-white stripes, two-tone lapels that appear to be leather-based and a bright-orange underside of the collar, a style of garment that reminded SB Nation contributor Jason Concepcion (aka netw3rk) of Grace Jones, Andrew Dice Clay, Debbie Gibson and David Bowie — was jarring. At least Nick Young's shirt seemed fun; Rondo looked like a drum major leading a marching band composed entirely of the criminally insane. Celtics fans hope he can return to making beautiful music come Thursday night.
Video via RocketsRed.
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