OKLAHOMA CITY — The decision on whether or not Rajon Rondo sees the floor in Game 2 of the Celtics series against the Hawks will ultimately come from another place, namely NBA headquarters in New York.
Rondo lost his cool after Brandon Bass was called for a foul on Josh Smith late and was sent to the showers early for screaming at and then bumping one of the game officials. Whether or not he meant to bump Marc Davis from behind will be debated from Buckhead to Bunker Hill (not to mention the rest of the NBA universe).
I’d tell you the video doesn’t lie and that Rondo’s bump was the result of him stepping on the foot of Davis or Bass and his momentum sending him into Davis accidentally. Celtics fans would probably agree with that theory.
Hawks fans, on the other hand, saw a guy that could have avoided Davis bit stuck his chest out and went right into Davis to complete his protest. And they’d love to see him miss Game 2 Tuesday night in Atlanta.
The incident will require a thorough examination by the league’s “Dean of Discipline,” VP of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson, and his staff. He’ll also have to factor in Rondo’s recent past — he was suspended two games earlier this season for throwing the ball at an official — the same way they did Metta World Peace‘s extensive history when they handed down his 7-game unpaid vacation for that elbow he landed to the side of the head of Thunder swingman James Harden.
League rules stipulate that “any intentional contact with a game officials” results in a one-game unpaid vacation for the violator of the rule. So the discussion will center on whether or not Rondo’s chest bump was “intentional’ or not.