Rajon Rondo seems to think everything is fine between himself and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. After their Tuesday blow-up that resulted in Rondo’s benching and eventual suspension, both sides downplayed the incident, even as a report surfaced that Rondo was “extremely unlikely” to stay in Dallas. On Friday, Rondo told reporters that “everything is back to normal now.”
“I just got built-up frustration,” said Rondo, who has had a couple of long individual meetings with Carlisle since their blowup. “I take a lot of the blame for what I’ve been doing on the court, but just a little frustrated. The most important thing is communication with Coach. I’ve talked to a lot of the coaches, I’ve talked to a lot of staff members.
“Coach and I, when I first got here, we were talking a lot and watching film after every game. He’s backed off a little bit with the addition of Amar’e [Stoudemire], trying to help get him up to speed. Our communication was great at first. Not that it wasn’t so great, but it’s just that we weren’t communicating enough. That shouldn’t be the case the rest of the season.”
Rondo has a history of clashing with coaches, and Carlisle has a history of clashing with players who have strong personalities. When the Mavericks made this trade, there was some risk that it would take a period of adjustment on both sides, but they obviously felt Rondo’s talent was too great to pass up.
Really, the only reason this incident has gotten as much attention as it has is because of the people involved. Players argue with their coaches all the time, and get benched for it, and at the end of the day, if both parties respect each other, they both understand that that’s part of the job.
What the incident does is makes the rest of the season and Rondo’s impending free agency that much more intriguing. Any further arguments between Rondo and Carlisle will be heavily scrutinized, especially in this era when everything can be screen-grabbed and GIF’d instantly. It’s a lot harder to handle these things behind the scenes without details leaking out, and that can lead to a lot of smoke as far as what has long-term implications and what doesn’t.
Hopefully, this will blow over as both Rondo and Carlisle said it will.