Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo have a few things in common, but they certainly didn’t look like buddies Wednesday night.
In the first quarter of the New Orleans Pelicans-Los Angeles Lakers showdown at Smoothie King Center, things got very chippy between Thomas and Rondo. The Pelicans point guard seemed to initiate the skirmish with a forearm to Thomas’ neck, prompting a war of words with the two players.
On the ensuing possession, tensions reached new heights. Rondo continued to be overly physical with Thomas, which resulted in Rondo’s ejection from the game. And after Thomas continued to jaw at the referees after the ordeal, the new Lakers guard was forced to hit the showers early, too.
While both Rondo and Thomas are passionate players, it’s clear their encounter Wednesday was personal.
Amid Thomas’ Boston Celtics tribute video fiasco when he still was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rondo was adamant that Thomas’ tribute should not be shown the same night as Paul Pierce’s number retirement ceremony Feb. 11 when the C’s battled the Cavs. In fact, Rondo was of the belief that Thomas shouldn’t receive any form of tribute from the Celtics, citing a lack of accomplishments in Boston.
Crisis, of course, was averted as Thomas was dealt to the Lakers days before Pierce’s big night. That evidently doesn’t matter much to Rondo, who still appears to hold a grudge against Thomas.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports