In the midst of the Kings’ George Karl mess, Rajon Rondo complained about shootarounds – seemingly taking issue with Karl and/or his teammates:
Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated reported Rondo, Omri Casspi and Seth Curry were the only players at Monday’s shootaround:
The Kings played the night before in Boston and were in their fourth city (Cleveland) in six nights. It’d be reasonable – maybe even wise – to value extra sleep over an optional shootaround.
To Rondo’s point, perhaps Karl shouldn’t have called one at all. If so much of the team plans to skip it, is it worth bringing in anyone? Is that productive for the players who attend?
What happened after the shootaround certainly wasn’t.
Quincy Acy disputed Fischer’s report:
Then, Caron Butler took issue with Rondo’s account:
I don’t know precisely which Kings attended the shootaround, but someone fed Fischer a list of names for whatever reason. The agendas and leaks coming from the Kings are debilitating.
And for Butler to publicly disagree with a teammate like that is startling. Unless he’s saying Rondo was misquoted, which seems unlikely, considering Steve Herrick of the Associated Press also quoted Rondo saying three or four players attended shootaround (hat tip: Kevin Draper of Deadspin).
The tamest explanation is that Rondo used “three or four” as a euphemism for “not enough,” and the real number could’ve been closer to five. So, maybe Acy and Butler also attended but participation was down.
But that wouldn’t necessarily mean teammates appreciate Rondo – who declared himself the first veteran teammate DeMarcus Cousins ever respected – saying “three or four.” That could leave a couple of them under the bus.
And there’s still the issue of Karl using shootarounds productively – and Rondo maybe calling him out publicly for it.
Really, this speaks to where the Kings stand. They can’t even conduct a shootaround without controversy.
If you’re a Comcast subscriber in Northern California, you can stream tonight’s Kings-76ers game here.