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Did Rajon Rondo plagiarize Kobe Bryant’s statement after anti-gay slur?

Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics signals as he sets up against Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 97-94. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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Rajon Rondo reportedly used anti-gay slurs in a tirade against referee Bill Kennedy, who came out yesterday.

Rondo has yet to address the issue publicly other than a couple tweets.

Beyond the lack of apology, there’s another problem.

Rondo’s language is remarkably similar to a statement by Kobe Bryant when the Lakers star committed a similar offense in an argument with a referee in 2011 (hat tip: Sam Amick of USA Today).

Here’s Kobe’s statement from the time:

“What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.”

And Rondo now:

The language is too similar to believe this is mere coincidence.

Did Rondo just slightly alter Kobe’s statement? Or did someone else do it for him?

Either scenario would mean we have yet to see any genuine response from the Kings point guard.

Kobe also drew criticism for not apologizing, but to his credit, he has since led through example on gay rights.

He told a fan not to use “gay” as an insult. He supported Magic Johnson’s son coming out. He applauded Jason Collins’ courage.

Rondo needs to address this issue himself in his own words. Then, he should copy Kobe.