Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo was fined $35,000 for “making unsportsmanlike physical contact” with Oklahoma City guard Dennis Schroder as well as two other offenses in Friday night’s game against the Thunder, the NBA announced Saturday.
Rondo thrust his right knee into Schroder’s groin area early in the fourth quarter of the contest and was called for a flagrant 2 foul. In the aftermath, he verbally abused official Ed Malloy and failed to leave the court in a timely manner after being ejected, which the NBA cited was part of Rondo’s fine.
Rondo expressed his displeasure prior to Saturday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, saying the way Malloy pointed at him was “disrespectful.”
“I guess the saying ‘free speech’ doesn’t apply to everybody,” Rondo told reporters.
—With the NBA’s 75th season coming up in 2021-22, commissioner Adam Silver is looking to make a major overhaul to the league’s schedule for the season, according to an ESPN report.
Among the changes Silver is targeting is a reseeding of the final four playoff teams, regardless of conference, and a midseason tournament featuring every NBA team. The league also could shorten the regular season by a few games to make room in the schedule for the midseason tournament.
According to Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Silver and the league are in talks with the NBA Players Association and the league’s various broadcast partners in hopes of bringing at least some of these proposals to April’s Board of Governors meeting.
—Celtics guard Kemba Walker was released from the hospital overnight and he returned to Boston with the team.
The Celtics said Walker, who was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms, was scheduled to be re-evaluated on Saturday.
He was taken off the court on a stretcher with a possible neck injury during the second quarter of the Celtics’ Friday night road game against the Denver Nuggets. The Celtics were on defense when Walker attempted to steal the ball. He had his head down and slammed head first into the stomach of teammate Semi Ojeleye. The contact jolted Walker’s neck with 3:13 left in the half.
—Kyrie Irving’s shoulder injury will keep him out of the next three games, including a highly anticipated matchup with his former team, the Celtics, the Brooklyn Nets announced.
The Nets played the past four games without Irving, who is suffering with a right shoulder impingement, before deciding to shut him down for the three-game road trip.
Irving suffered the injury Nov. 12 against the Utah Jazz.
—Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley was fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rule for the second time this season.
The most recent incident by Beverley, a veteran in his eighth season, happened in the first quarter of Friday night’s 122-119 home win against the Houston Rockets. He apparently overreacted while trying to draw a foul on Houston star James Harden.
On Thursday, Beverley received a warning from the league for flopping in Wednesday’s win against the Celtics. Beverley, who was held to six points on 2-for-6 shooting on Friday, is averaging 7.6 points and 6.6 rebounds over 14 games (all starts) this season.
—Field Level Media