Rajon Rondo has shown himself to have a short temper, and that just might lead to him being suspended by the league for initiating a fracas in the second quarter of the Boston Celtics’ home loss to the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday night.
Rondo teammate Kevin Garnett took a hard foul from Brooklyn’s Kris Humphries when he drove baseline. Garnett was airborne when Humphries knocked him to the floor. As Garnett complained to the referee, the 6 foot 2 Rondo, without hesitation, confronted the 6-foot-9 Humphries and pushed him.
Humphries, once briefly married to Kim Kardashian, ended up falling backward, but managed to pull Rondo’s jersey up over his head as the two were quickly swarmed. At the same time, Garnett and the Nets’ Gerald Wallace jostled and other players came in pushing and shoving in a melee that moved dangerously close to the fans who sat on the baseline.
After a video review, the referees ejected both Humphries and Rondo for fighting — crew chief James Capers later explained to a pool reporter that, by going into the stands, the two were involved in a fight that required ejection. Humphries earned two technical fouls, including one for taking Garnett to the floor with a second personal foul after the initial contact.
All that said, it is Rondo who faces more disciplinary action for the league. There was no call for him to attack Humphries as he did. Even Garnett described it as a “Just a hard foul. I thought the antics afterward were a bit extra, but, (it was a) hard foul.”
Capers said, “Rondo initiated everything that proceeded after the foul.”
With the ejection, Rondo’s 37-game streak of at least 10 assists was snapped, keeping him tied with John Stockton for the second-longest run in NBA history (and short of Magic Johnson’s 46-game record). Rondo had three assists over 18 minutes.
As for whether Garnett or Wallace threw a punch, Capers added, “As we reviewed it, no. They aggressively went to one another, and they basically pushed and extended on one another, but there was not a punch thrown.”
That might spare both players much more than a possible fine. Wallace had an earlier technical foul and the dust-up with Garnett left him ejected. Garnett remained in the game with only one technical.
“Obviously, we are (worried about a possible suspension),” Garnett said. “But it’s what it is. You have to protect each other, and we consider ourselves family around here, and that’s just the way it is.”