The Los Angeles Lakers will not fine or discipline point guard Rajon Rondo for his behavior in the final minute of the team’s Wednesday night loss to the Denver Nuggets, ESPN reported Thursday, citing sources.
Rondo took a courtside fan seat off the bench, away from his teammates, but it was something he said he has done “eight, 10 times this year.”
After meeting with Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka on Thursday to discuss the incident, Rondo told ESPN, “They notified me that it was a league rule that you can’t sit there. I wasn’t aware of it. But now I know going forward where I need to be.”
The 13-year veteran and four-time All-Star didn’t give much thought to a possible fine.
“Everyone has an opinion,” said Rondo, who won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2007-08. “I’m not controlled by money. ... I can’t control what they say. If somebody wants to fine me, I won’t wake up tomorrow upset about it.”
Rondo only scored four points on 2-for-7 shooting (0-of-3 on 3-pointers) but had 11 assists in the 115-99 home defeat against Denver as the Lakers fell 6 1/2 games back in the race for a playoff berth. The fact that he played only 16 minutes in the second half had nothing to do with his seat selection, Rondo said.
“I’ve done it (before),” said Rondo, who is averaging 9.0 points, 7.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds a game this season. “I’ve sat everywhere but the bench more than 40 seconds. But I guess when things aren’t going well, you can kind of continue to make up stories. But I never thought it was a big deal.
“I was just in my head contemplating the game. That’s kind of what I do. I don’t think I have to explain myself as far as my relationship with the team, the players and the coaches. That shouldn’t even be discussed.”
—Field Level Media