The NBA didn't take long to hand down a verdict in the Rajon Rondo referee bumping incident. Less than 24 hours after Rondo foolishly lost his cool, he found out that he will have to sit out one game of the playoffs.
As uncool as it may be to agree with the league these days, I think they got this suspension right. One game is a fair amount of time to miss for the incident that took place on Sunday, April 29. Anything less would have sent the wrong message to players around the league. Anything more would have been blowing the whole thing out of proportion.
The only thing that bothers me is that Rondo is still claiming the bump was unintentional. Come on man tell the truth. You were angry and stuck out your chest, I guess to prove you were some kind of tough guy. You barely bumped Marc Davis, but any contact with a referee is unacceptable. Just say you lost your head for a moment and you regret what happened. I would respect you a lot more if you took that route rather than just deny, deny and deny.
This isn't the first time the Boston Celtics point guard has been in trouble this season. In February he was suspended two games for throwing the ball at another referee, Sean Wright. Rondo's history may have played a part in his suspension. It is harder to believe the bump was unintentional when the guy has a history disrespecting referees.
So now the Celtics will be in scramble mode. They are currently down 1-0 to the Atlanta Hawks in their best of seven series. Hopefully Ray Allen will return for Game 2 on Tuesday, May 1. If Allen is out I'm not sure how the Celtics can win on Tuesday.
The only thing that Celtics fans can hope for is that Rondo uses this as motivation in the rest of the series. There is little doubt that he can take over a game or even a series when he is in the zone. An angry and focused Rondo would be a blessing for these old and tired Celtics. Otherwise the Cs will probably be bounced in the first round.
Darren Pare has been a Boston Celtics fan for over 25 years. He grew up spoiled by the likes of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, but then lived through the Antoine Walker years. You can follow him on Twitter at dpare71.
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