It appears the relationship between Rajon Rondo and the Dallas Mavericks was as bad as it could get.
The polarizing point guard made headlines during the Mavs’ first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets when he was benched during Game 2 after essentially quitting on the team. Rondo was ruled out indefinitely for the rest of the series — which Houston won in five games — with a “back injury,” but just as everyone expected, that actually wasn’t the case.
Sources recently told ESPNDallas.com that Rondo and the Mavs mutually agreed to part ways after Game 2, using the back injury as a means of protecting what was left of the former Boston Celtics guard’s reputation after a short and tumultuous tenure in Dallas. What’s more, the Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko reported Wednesday that the team plans on withholding Rondo’s $15,000 playoff share.
While none of the news is particularly surprising, it should be interesting to see how free agency goes for Rondo this offseason. There’s no reason to believe he can’t be a factor for another team or that the mythical “Playoff Rondo” will never make another appearance in the NBA, but he has made it abundantly clear he can’t go just anywhere.
Rondo’s poor shooting and stubbornness were kept in check with the Celtics while veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were around, and he still gave his best on the court, playing through a dislocated elbow and a torn ACL on separate occasions. But as Rondo became the “leader,” trading him became more and more plausible until he finally was shipped to Dallas in December.
Still, someone will take a chance on Rondo. It just won’t come on the maximum contract he wants.
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