Rajon Rondo, Rick Carlisle Clash Turning Into Something Bigger?


Ok, everyone has seen the incident involving Rajon Rondo and Rick Carlisle by now. The shouting match that took place heading into a timeout during the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors has been analyzed, discussed, and speculated about since it took place.

Earlier I wrote about how minor it was, dismissing it as a legitimate concern in comparison to how he actually fits with the Mavericks. In large part I still feel the same way, even after it was reported that the spat continued following the victory inside the locker room.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon has been all over this thing:

Ok, so things between the two continued in the immediate aftermath of the game. That’s to be expected, right? Surely nothing over the top occurred. Not so fast. We don’t know exactly what took place, but it was enough of an issue that Rondo was suspended one game, Wednesday’s showdown with the east-leading Atlanta Hawks, for “conduct detrimental to the team”.

Everybody has put on their best “nothing to see here, folks” faces for the most part, but Carlisle did use some interesting language when talking to reporters about the suspension. Again, from MacMahon:

Stint? 23 games? I very well could be overreacting here, but that type of speech doesn’t inspire much confidence in the prospect of Rondo becoming a long-term fixture. If Rondo didn’t take notice his agent certainly did.

And parting ways at the end of the season may be for the best. The union was almost an experiment to begin with. Dallas wasn’t a true contender with Jameer Nelson, but adding Rondo gave them hope. Dirk only has so many years left, gotta capture every opportunity. And because of that the calculated risk of trading for Rondo was still a good move, even if he isn’t on the roster opening night.

But the Mavericks currently have a roster capable of contending for a championship and their hopes of capturing the title hinge on Rondo being a difference maker. He won’t be if he’s stewing.

If this minor incident morphs into a problem that spoils Dallas’ opportunity this season it would be a real shame. Here’s hoping everybody can get on the same page for the remainder of the run, regardless of how things may pan out this summer.

Next: Game Grades for Win Over Hornets

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