As Rondo prepared to make his return from a one-game suspension for bumping a referee and then, in the league’s words, “failing to cooperate with a league investigation,” he was informed that the Knicks forward was also given a one-game suspension for confronting Kevin Garnett outside the locker room after the Celtics’ victory in New York on Monday.
“So that’s the same thing, huh?” Rondo said.
Before he and the Celtics dismissed the Suns 87-79, Rondo was far from in a chatty mood when he was asked to discuss his own suspension and the incidents in Manhattan. He was surprised to hear about a video that showed him trying to separate Garnett from Anthony, and insisted that his role was solely as a peacemaker.
“I didn’t want anything to happen to the big fella,” Rondo said. “I had my teammate’s back, but nobody was looking for a fight or anything, just trying to break it up and be there for my teammate.”
Anthony and the league were not the only parties Rondo was annoyed with. As he dutifully answered questions outside the home locker room at the TD Garden, he did give off a tinge of irritation while referring several times to “the media” and what he perceives as its judgmental depiction of him.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Rondo said. “That’s part of it. That’s part of the job, the role I’ve come into, the player you guys think I am. It means a lot. I appreciate what you guys think of me.”