Plenty of people – former coaches Mark Jackson and Stan Van Gundy most prominently – criticized Rondo. Rondo complained he was getting too much attention, especially at the expense of LeBron James passing Michael Jordan in career scoring, as if people can’t follow two stories from one game.
Ultimately, this will end without much fuss within the Lakers.
Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo will not be fined or disciplined for sitting in a courtside seat removed from his teammates late in the Lakers’ 115-99 loss Wednesday to the Denver Nuggets, sources told ESPN.
Rondo met with Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka on the team’s off day Thursday to discuss his seat choice and how it was perceived.
“They notified me that it was a league rule that you can’t sit there,” Rondo told ESPN after the meeting on Thursday. “I wasn’t aware of it. But now I know going forward where I need to be.”
Ideally, Rondo would be most comfortable gathering his thoughts while sitting near his teammates. But he clearly felt most comfortable contemplating with a little space. So, there was a bright-line choice: Should Rondo gather his thoughts where he felt most comfortable or sit with his teammates? I see no automatically correct answer.
That’s because Rondo supports his teammates, especially the younger ones, in numerous ways. He has proven to be a committed veteran mentor.
He should sometimes be allowed his own space.
The Lakers telling him to sit on the bench because of an NBA rule is a copout. If it’s important to them he sits on the bench, they could just say so. But it’s also completely fine for the Lakers to take the copout route.
You can think Rondo should have sat on the bench without also believing this was a big deal.