Rajon Rondo Was Asked Not to Skip Boston Celtics Game for B-Day, Did It Anyways

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 6, 2014

Mar 1, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) sits on the floor after being called for a foul during the fourth quarter of Boston's 102-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Rajon Rondo might not have expected his birthday to get this much attention. 

The Boston Celtics star point guard turned 28 years old on Feb. 22, and we're still talking about his celebration nearly two weeks later. Of course, that's only happening because new details continue to emerge. 

At this point, the background information is fairly well known. Rondo, recovering from his ACL injury, wasn't set to play against the Sacramento Kings, seeing as it was the second game in only three nights. Rather than accompany the C's to Sleep Train Arena, he instead chose to celebrate his birthday in Los Angeles. 

Then all hell broke loose, as media members questioned him incessantly and fans battled ad nauseam about whether or not it even mattered since he wasn't scheduled to play. 

Well, general manager Danny Ainge provided a new wrinkle in the story when he informed the world on Boston's CBS Sports radio affiliate, via WEEI.com, that Rondo not only didn't have the team's permission to avoid Sacramento, but also directly disobeyed his superiors. 

"He let Brad [Stevens] know and he let me know that he was going to stay in L.A. an extra day, and we didn’t think that he should," Ainge revealed. "But it was his choice and [we told him] there may be consequences if you stay. It was that simple."

Feb 24, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) walks off the court in the final seconds against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz won 110-98. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

This changes things, and it should make it quite a bit more difficult for Rondo supporters to argue that he's free from blame. 

The decision to stay in L.A. wasn't the result of a faulty assumption. We know that now. 

"Rondo is in an interesting spot, having been named team captain this season," writes Royce Young for CBSSports.com. "And as a captain, the expectation is for leadership. Which in other words, not these sort of things."

This long after Rondo's transgressions occurred, the statute of limitations has probably passed. Boston most likely isn't going to punish the floor general, nor will the C's feel the need to revoke his captaincy. They'll deal with the issue internally, and they may already have handed out some sort of punishment that hasn't been revealed to the general public.  

But while there presumably won't be any external punishment, the continuation of the story should lead to some better behavior from Rondo in the future. Even if he's tempted to ignore his team's wishes going forward, he knows what type of sprawling story will be created if he does pay management no heed.