Isaiah Thomas has a problem with the problem Rajon Rondo has with Isaiah Thomas.
Welcome to the NBA.
The point guards both were ejected in Wednesday night’s matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans. After the game, Thomas admitted their spat centered around the “video tribute incident,” which goes like this: Back in January, Rondo spoke out strongly against the then-Cleveland Cavaliers guard receiving a tribute video from the Boston Celtics on the same day as Paul Pierce’s retirement ceremony.
Rondo later doubled down, claiming Thomas didn’t deserve a tribute at all because he didn’t win anything in Boston. (“You don’t hang conference titles.”)
Fast forward to Wednesday night, where Thomas admitted he was “surprised” by Rondo’s strong take.
“I think a lot of people were (surprised),” Thomas said after L.A.’s 139-117 loss, via ESPN.com. “I think the world made it bigger than what it was. Everybody who’s been on a team for a while has gotten a video tribute. Patrick Beverley got one in Houston. Chris Paul got one with the Clippers. It’s like, they didn’t win no championship, but it’s just the respect thing.”
Thomas also noted he specifically asked the Celtics to hold off on his video tribute for that Feb. 11 game so as not to interfere with Pierce. The new Laker managed to work in a jab back at Rondo while questioning the veteran’s comments, too.
“Whatever reason, he’s an upset guy about me,” Thomas said. ” … I mean, my team beat his team in the playoffs last year (when Boston defeated the Chicago Bulls in the first round). Maybe that is what’s wrong. I don’t know.
“… He already had his agenda written down right when I checked into the game. It was obvious. He picked me up full court, trying to be physical. I don’t know what was going on with him.”
The Lakers play the Pelicans again on March 22, so we could see a sequel in this bizarre rift.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images
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