So now we know Rajon Rondo was joking when he alluded to a couple of bumps in the road with head coach George Karl. Rondo accused the media of not understand his dry wit. The media doesn’t understand a joke, was his point, and he may be right, depending on whom he is talking to. Or how about this? Rondo’s reputation precedes him. His sullenness, his attraction to arguing with Hall of Fame coaches and wanting to do it his way makes it’s easy to believe him when he says he and Karl aren’t getting along. It’s part of the Rajon Rondo baggage- testing authority. And just to be clear. There wasn’t much of his ‘dry wit’ last year in Dallas.
According to Sacramento Kings beat writer, Jason Jones, Rondo has been trying out his humor routine since July, perhaps trying to turn over a new leaf. Yet the old Rondo is what everyone is still clinging to, and they are waiting for the explosion that is sure to come.
Rondo’s latest stand up comedy routine came after playing the Lakers in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. Afterwards he was asked about his relationship with Karl.
“It’s not been going too well. We got into a couple of arguments the last couple of days. Hopefully, we continue to talk and it will get better.”
For his part, George Karl went the non-comedic, non-dry wit honesty route when assessing their relationship.
“You’re being tricked. Rondo is hilarious. My relationship with Rondo is so good, if it’s any better I’d get scared.”
Hilarious is not what Dallas or Boston thought about Rondo at the end of his tenure, nor was it what Doc Rivers uttered (expletive, expletive, expletive) when Rondo threw a bottle at the video screen during a film session, unhappy with criticism. That particular burst of emotion was during the playoffs. So his reputation doesn’t rest on fiction and imagination: he is difficult.
But difficult players litter the NBA. When you are difficult and talented you are given a very long leash. Rondo’s was shortened after his stint in Dallas when he was unbearable to coach and to play with. Last season in Boston and Dallas were Rondo’s lowest numbers since his rookie year (9 points, 6 assists) as he was a general pain in the ass; it impacted his free agency.
Once upon a time he was a shoe- in to take the Lakers open point guard spot but the Lakers preferred a 19 year old untested rookie over Rondo who is only 29 years old and theoretically still in his prime. He could only get a one year deal out of Sacramento and is the second lowest paid ($9.5 million) starting point guard in the Western Conference among players with five or more years experience. Only Deron Williams ($5.3 million) makes less than Rondo. Both were first time All-Stars in 2010, now both are in career salvage mold. The truth of the NBA is that players have two choices: evolve or descend.
Rondo cleared up his joke with the media by offering this explanation that was on the Sacramento Kings website, an olive branch to the local fans who are still skeptical that the Rondo-Karl marriage will ever work.
“We haven’t butt heads at all. I want to make that clear. “
photo via llananba