Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo got kicked out of the team’s win on Friday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder after committing a Flagrant Foul 2 against Dennis Schroder, but it was not immediately clear if he would face further consequences for his actions.
On Saturday we got our answer, as the NBA announced that Rondo was being fined $35,000 for “unsportsmanlike physical contact with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, verbal abuse of a game official, and failing to leave the court in a timely manner upon his ejection.”
Oh, so that’s all.
After the game last night, Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel told reporters that he “didn’t really see” Rondo’s altercation with Schroder, while LeBron James said he “didn’t think it called for an ejection.” Rondo himself didn’t really want to talk about incident with Schroder, after the game...
What happened on the flagrant 2?— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 23, 2019
Why did you disagree with the judgment?
“I just did.”
Was the contact incidental?
“Can we talk about something else?” pic.twitter.com/vhNF2HZrVG
...but he changed his tune after receiving his fine on Saturday:
Rondo: “When you’re a four or five time felon, the judgment’s kind of harsher.”— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 24, 2019
Rajon Rondo said he believes his $35k fine was mostly about the remark he made toward referee Ed Malloy. Asked if he regrets it, Rondo said no. He felt that Malloy was disrespectful toward him, by pointing in his face after charging him with a flagrant 2.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) November 24, 2019
Well, that may be another fine!
Anyway, while it was always unlikely that the NBA would suspend Rondo for his actions, him officially avoiding such consequences is still good news for the Lakers, who are light on guard depth with Avery Bradley being out until at least Friday, and Alex Caruso set to miss the team’s game against the Grizzlies on Saturday night:
Alex Caruso is out tonight (sore calf).— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 23, 2019
With those two missing more time, Rondo avoiding any further incidents is obviously better for the team, as if he can’t play and Caruso continues to deal with his calf injury, that would leave the Lakers with just Quinn Cook and Troy Daniels as their point-guard-sized players on the roster, and very little ballhandling to ease the creation load on LeBron. That’s not a concern yet with Rondo still in the lineup, but he should probably avoid any more “unsportsmanlike” incidents for now.