Rajon Rondo did not hold back at all when asked about the altercation that took place Saturday night and has cost him three games and Chris Paul only two. Let’s just say he isn’t thrilled about those punishments, nor how the two point guards have been spoken about since they came to blows.
He started by repeating his claim to ESPN that he never spat at Paul, who says that started the entire altercation.
“Look at my body language [in the video]. My hands on my hips. I turn away for a second. Look at Eric [Gordon] and Melo [Carmelo Anthony] in the video. If they saw me spit, they would have turned their face up or something. They had no reaction.”
He continued his explanation of his side of the events.
“One, if I spit on you, bottom line, there is not going to be no finger-pointing. If you felt that I just spit on you, then all bets are off. Two, look at my body language. If I spit on you on purpose, I’m going to be ready for a man to swing on me. You ain’t going to have my hands on my hip and my head look away at someone if I spit on them. After the [expletive] goes down, within 30 seconds, you run and tell the sideline reporters that I spit on you? If I spit on you, you are trying to get to me. You not trying to make up a story so you can look like a good guy. It makes no sense to me.
Rondo seems to really take issue with Paul’s image. As strong as his stance was on how things went down, his take on Paul was positively scathing.
“Of course, the NBA went with his side because I got three games and he got two,” Rondo told ESPN. “Everyone wants to believe Chris Paul is a good guy. They don’t know he’s a horrible teammate. They don’t know how he treats people. Look at what he did last year when he was in LA; trying to get to the Clippers locker room. They don’t want to believe he’s capable of taunting and igniting an incident.
Look, Rondo knows more about this subject than most. Not just in terms of what players might’ve told him about their experience in playing with Paul, but also (and maybe more importantly), how Paul is covered. It’s just a fact that guys who offer up quotes more readily get treated differently by those who cover the sport.
Paul, the president of the Players Union and the kind of player who by most accounts treated reporters with proper respect, very well might have garnered a little softer treatment. If Rondo really does believe that he didn’t spit in Paul’s face, from where he’s sitting, Paul escalated the fight by sticking his finger in Rondo’s eye yet was given a fewer game’s worth of suspension.
If that’s how Rondo sees this, his frustration makes total sense.
From where the league is standing, though, they appear to believe that Rondo spat. As such, they gave him the extra game for starting the altercation as such.
All that matters, though, is that the suspensions have been handed down and the Lakers have to move on accordingly. They’re still vying for their first win of the LeBron James era and will have to do that without the guy who started the season as their starting point guard for another two games.
This story is mostly behind us, until the Lakers play Houston again (which we’ll have to wait until mid-December for, by the way).