Rajon Rondo sat out Tuesday nights game against the Dallas Mavericks with back spasms, and is questionable for tonight’s game against the Lakers, if the NBA doesn’t suspend him for ‘trying’ to ‘trip’ Deron Williams from the bench on Tuesday. It was a dumb and dangerous play on Rondo’s part, although not completely uncommon in the NBA. In fact, Rajon Rondo has done this before, but for whatever reason that moment hasn’t garnered the attention that this most recent incident has, and a lot of folks are calling for some sort of punishment from the league office. To this point, the NBA hasn’t commented.
Rajon Rondo really tried tripping Deron Williams https://t.co/c8GjupERCY— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 6, 2016
Players on the bench trying to distract, or alter the movements of players on the court is incredibly dangerous, and we witness anything from screaming (which I’m cool with) to attempted tripping (which I’m incredibly not cool with) and everything in between on a nightly basis. It’s all relatively harmless until someone gets hurt. You could even argue that Rondo wasn’t actually trying to trip Williams, with the argument being that if Rondo was trying to trip him, he would have tripped him. Williams had his back to Rondo, Rondo could have probably committed that crime if that was what he was attempting to do. I think it was an attempted distraction or a slight tap instead of a complete trip. Still dangerous, still dumb, but I’m not going to pretend like I know Rondo’s intentions, that’s just my own personal speculation.
But this is Rajon Rondo, and he has a reputation. It's one that he has certainly earned, particularly since his incident with NBA referee Bill Kennedy just a few weeks ago. He has a target (again, one he has supplied the paint for) so anything he does will get looked at with a harsher lens.
We are still several hours from tipoff, he could still face some sort of fine or suspension from the league, particularly because of his reputation, but this is a league wide issue that doesn’t begin or end with Rondo’s actions. It’s something that the NBA needs to address before someone gets hurt. The NBA has an opportunity to hit Rondo with a 'setting precedent' type of suspension here because that video has been plastered all over every basketball site since Tuesday, and as we mentioned earlier, Rondo is the perfect candidate for something like that.
Should Rondo receive some sort of punishment? Probably. A one game suspension wouldn't shock me. You can't do what he did. You shouldn't do what he did. I just get hung up on the 'everyone does it' aspect of this particular issue, and the chaos that is those corners throughout every NBA game. Quincy Acy is probably the Kings' best perimeter defender thanks to his work from the bench on that corner.
It's always something with this team, stay tuned.
UPDATE 12:06 PM:
Looks like Rondo won't face any discipline. A different camera angle by the NBA apparently shows that Rondo didn't come as close to kicking Williams as it initially appeared. Still, something should be done to prevent future incidences.