Patriots

Rondo awaits word on suspension

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Rondo awaits word on suspension

WALTHAM Rajon Rondo was at Celtics practice on Thursday, seemingly no different than he is at any other practice.

But this was no normal day for Rondo, not less than 24 hours after being ejected in the second quarter of a 95-83 loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

Rondo will learn soon as to whether his actions will warrant additional punishment in the form of a suspension.

He spoke with league officials Thursday afternoon to tell his side of the incident involving him and Nets forward Kris Humphries, which eventually spilled into the front row full of fans.

When asked what his gut told him would be the ruling, Rondo responded, "You never know. It's out of my control. Whatever the consequences are, that's what they are."

In all likelihood, Rondo will be hit with a multiple-game suspension for his role in the incident, which came after Humphries fouled Kevin Garnett, who then took a hard spill to the floor.

Rondo, in an act of sticking up for his teammate, gave Humphries a two-handed push in the chest following Humphries fouling Kevin Garnett. Humphries retaliated as both players became tangled up along the baseline filled with fans, in front of the Celtics bench.

After the game, the game's lead official, James Capers, said Rondo was ejected from the game because he "initiated everything that proceeded after the foul. And when he and Humphries go into the stands, they are involved in a fight. Fighting is an automatic ejection."

In addition to Rondo, Humphries and Nets forward Gerald Wallace were ejected. (Wallace was whistled for a technical for his role in the incident and it was his second of the game, which is an automatic ejection.) Garnett was given a technical foul for his role in the incident as well.

Not surprisingly, Celtics coach Doc Rivers doesn't believe Rondo should be suspended.

However, he does admit that Rondo going into the stands might be too much for the league's officiating czar, Stu Jackson, to look past.

"The only thing it would be is, they went into the stands, which you never want," Rivers said. "But there were no punches thrown or anything. And really when you see it, I thought Rondo was trying to get him away and Humphries kind of pulled Rondo into him and that's when everything started. I don't really believe Rondo went in there trying to fight. I don't think anyone did; it just escalated. And that's what happened."

While the league doesn't spell out specifically that it cracks down harder on players who have been suspended previously, there's no way they can totally ignore the fact that this would be Rondo's third suspension in less than a year -- an unusually high rate for any player.

Rondo said he's not worried about his past suspensions having any impact on Wednesday night's incident.

"Yesterday's action were completely different from the other two, I believe," Rondo said.

He's right.

On Feb. 19 of this year, he was suspended for two games because he threw a basketball at an official. And during the Celtics' playoff series in April against the Atlanta Hawks, Rondo was suspended for Game 2 of that series after bumping official Marc Davis in Game 1.

While those transgressions all seem relatively minor in their scope, they speak to a concern that has hovered over this team for the past couple of years.

Is Rondo ready to be the leader of this team?

In what has been a season in which he has made significant strides in answering this question affirmatively, this latest incident once again brings his maturity into question.

No one questions Rondo's intent.

It was clear to anyone who saw the replay or was at the game, that he was trying to stick up for his teammate.

But the manner in which he went about doing it, well, that's a problem.

"Rondo . . . can't allow himself to be taken out of a game, and he did last night," Rivers said. "Again, it's a snap (decision); it's quick and it can happen to any of us."

If Rondo is suspended as expected, it will cost him more than 100,000 per game in lost wages.

Report: In threatening Goodell, Cowboys owner insults Kraft

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Report: In threatening Goodell, Cowboys owner insults Kraft

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, upset over the six-game suspension of his star running back Ezekiel Elliott, has been fighting against a contract extension for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

How hard has he been fighting? Enough to reportedly insult Patriots owner Robert Kraft in the process. 

ESPN reports that on a conference call in August with Goodell and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash when Jones was informed of Elliott’s suspension for domestic violence incidents, Jones told the commissioner, “I’m going to come after you with everything I have.” He then invoked Kraft’s response to Deflategate and Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.

“If you think Bob Kraft came after you hard, Bob Kraft is a p—-y compared to what I’m going to do,” Jones told Goodell, according to ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham.

Elliott, like Brady, abandoned his court fight this week and will serve his suspension. Kraft, of course, produced the Wells Report in context website, but grudgingly accepted the NFL’s penalty in the Deflategate case. Jones has threatened to sue the NFL if Goodell’s contract extension is approved.   

 

Blakely: Work in progress, but oh, what progress

Blakely: Work in progress, but oh, what progress

BOSTON – The words of Stephen Curry following the Celtics’ 92-88 win over his Golden State Warriors had an off-handed, end-of-the-night throwaway feel to them, a statement that would soon be forgotten after the Warriors reel off what should be a long string of victories going forward.
 
“They’re playing the best right now in the East,” Curry said of the Celtics, who now have a 3-2 edge in their past five meetings following Thursday night’s thriller. “And obviously until they beat Cleveland, who's done it three years in a row … so we’ll see.”

CELTICS 92, WARRIORS 88

We already have, folks.
 
The Celtics and the Warriors are both quick to remind us all that we are only a month into the season and that there’s still lots of basketball to be played.
 
But the big takeaway from Thursday was that the Celtics’ ascension to the top of the NBA mountain is a matter of when, not if, it’ll happen.
 
Because what we’re seeing now is a team that is very much a work in progress, yet one that still manages to win games on a lot of nights that they have no business winning.
 
Think about it.
 
They shot 32.9 percent against the Warriors, the best team in the NBA, and still managed to get the win. According to NBA stats guru Dick Lipe, it was only the second time in the past 35 years that the Celtics shot less than 33 percent from the field and still managed to win.
 
That speaks to how well Boston defended the Warriors, who came in averaging a league-best 119.6 points per game.
 
But more than that, it shows this team has a will to win that’s almost unheard of for a group whose pieces are so relatively new to one another.
 
Of the 14 Celtics with guaranteed contracts on the roster, all but four are in their first season in Boston.
 
But even with the new guys coming together quicker than anticipated, Boston should not all of a sudden be considered the favorites in the NBA.
 
Even with the victory, Boston still has some ground to make up if they are to be on the same level as Golden State, a franchise that has been to the NBA Finals each of the past three seasons and has emerged a champion twice.
 
“It takes a lot of basketball to get there,” said Warriors guard Klay Thompson. “They have a good, young, hungry team. You have to give them credit. They have a better record than us, so you can say they’re better now.”
 
And while Thompson didn’t place an emphasis on it, the last word in his comments, “now,” is why Thursday’s victory leaves the Celtics cautiously optimistic.
 
Because as we’ve seen time and time, regular-season success does not always travel well beyond that and into the playoffs.
 
Still, Thursday’s win provides something for Boston beyond hope and optimism.
 
They now have results to go with the work they’ve put in to be a better team and compete with the league’s best.
 
And they’ve done it under less-than-ideal circumstances.
 
Gordon Hayward went down with an ankle injury less than five minutes into the season and he’s expected to be lost for the rest of the season. Al Horford missed two games while recovering from a concussion while Kyrie Irving missed a game after suffering a facial fracture.
 
So in other words, the Big Three that Boston was set on unleashing to the rest of the world has logged less than five minutes together all season.
 
And yet there are the Celtics (14-2), tops in the NBA while riding a historic 14-game winning streak, and there's reason to believe that maybe, just maybe, these two will be the last teams standing when all is said and done and some of those customary throwaway lines uttered by Curry might have some value after all if these two wind up meeting in the NBA Finals.

“I hear the weather is great here in June,” Curry said.