Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle told the media on April 22 he doesn't expect point guard Rajon Rondo to suit up for the team again following his dismal performance in Game 2 against the Houston Rockets on the same day.
Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle says he doens't expect point guard Rajon Rondo to suit up for the team ever again.
Don't Miss: Sam's Club Black Friday 2016 Details
When The Dallas Morning News' Eddie Sefko asked Carlisle on Wednesday if he expects Rondo in a Mavericks uniform again next season, the latter was succinct in his response: "No, I don't."
Initially, the Mavericks say Rondo sustained a back injury when he tried to draw an offensive fould from the Houston Rockets' James Harden in Game 2 of their first-round series on April 21, per Sefko.
After Rondo was called for two fouls and a technical foul in the opening seconds of the third quarter, Carlisle benched him for the rest of the game. Sefko says,"That's how his Mavericks tenure will end."
Carlisle told The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that Rondo "will not be around the team":
"He is seeking additional medical opinions. For now, he will not be around the team. I understand the announcement that's been made is going to have different interpretations. I'm giving you our interpretation of it.
"This is fact. From here, we're moving forward. We've got a series to win. We got to win Game 3 with the guys we have.
"I like Rondo. My relationship with him was professional. We learned a lot going through this, trying to make this work. It being an injury is something we didn't want."
Sefko says it was ultimately "a bad match" for both sides.
A source told ESPN's Marc Stein on Wednesday Rondo hurt his back a week ago. The Mavericks guard thought he could play through the injury and did not inform his team about his sentiment until he tried to take a charge on Harden on Wednesday, which apparently made the injury worse.
When reporters in Houston asked Carlisle if Rondo wanted to play more in the second half against the Rockets on Wednesday, Carlisle deferred to his point guard, per ESPN:
"You have to ask him that question. All I know right now is that we need everybody at their competitive best. This isn't about one guy who did or didn't play. This is about everybody pulling in the same direction for the organization. That's what it's about."
Rondo wasn't at his best against the Rockets in Game 2.
Four minutes into the first quarter, officials whistled him for an eight-second violation while he was bringing the ball downcourt. Houston did not guard him tightly. Just 40 seconds later, Jason Terry was wide open for a three-pointer with Rondo nowhere near him, per Stein.
The ESPN report adds Carlisle then yanked Rondo off the floor and didn't put him back until the 5:30 mark of the second quarter.
Rondo's lackadaisical play elicited a harsh response form TNT analyst Charles Barkley on national television, per a separate Dallas Morning News update:
"He was not engaged whatsoever tonight. If he is not going to play, then Rick (Carlisle) has an obligation to the other guys in that locker room. If he is just going to go through the motions, they have to move on.
"I'm not going to play Rondo anymore."
Mavericks shooting guard Monta Ellis had a long discussion with Rondo on the bench at halftime. Team owner Mark Cuban even came over to talk to him. Once the game ended, Rondo went to the team bus without speaking to reporters, per The Dallas Morning News.
Stein's sources told him on Wednesday that Rondo, who will be a free agent at season's end, plans to sign with another team in the offseason. They cite his struggles to adjust to Carlisle's system and gel with his teammates.
The Mavericks suspended Rondo for one game in February after he and Carlisle figured in a heated exchange during and after a win over the Toronto Raptors over play-calling responsibilities, per Stein.
Dallas traded Brandan Wright and a first-round pick to obtain Rondo on Dec. 18, per ESPN.
The 29-year-old Rondo has averaged 10.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 573 career regular-season games for the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, per ESPN stats.
Make sure to log on to I4U News for the latest trends and developments for the geek mind.
Don't Miss: iPhone 8: Everything You Need to Know