Rajon Rondo: I addressed Bulls' players, staff regarding suspension

ByNick Friedell via ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo admitted he "could have handled the situation better" in the wake of his one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

Rondo, who was punished after a verbal altercation with assistant coach Jim Boylen during Saturday's loss to the Dallas Mavericks, spoke for the first time since missing Monday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

"Me, as a player, as a point guard, I could have handled the situation better," Rondo said. "But when I feel a certain way, I'm going to speak on it. My whole thing is always for the betterment of the team. So if it comes off the wrong way or things of that nature, I'm trying to work on that; but for the most part, I'm not a selfish individual. I try to do what's best for the team. I try to watch film with my other teammates, as well. So it's just part of the game, part of who I am."

Rondo, like Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg and general manager Gar Forman, declined to go into detail about the incident.

"Some things happened," Rondo said. "It's part of it. We'll try to move forward as a team. Me personally, I addressed the team, I addressed the coaching staff. And just try to move forward."

Rondo did not confirm reports that he threw a towel in Boylen's face during the argument but did acknowledge that the pair had talked since Saturday.

"You got to look at the film," Rondo said. "I don't know. You got to look at the film."

Rondo said he feels his teammates and coaches were receptive to his apology and believes everybody is pulling in the same direction.

"Without a doubt, yeah," Rondo said. "I have a good relationship with my team. That's what I take pride in, being a great teammate ... I think we're still on the same page. When you lose, things blow up a little bit out of proportion. When you win, it covers everything up, so we got to get back to winning, winning basketball.

"I think we're playing the right way; it's just we have to find ways to get consecutive stops. We can't dig a hole on the road early. We have to get back in transition, we have to communicate, we have to talk better. And take better shots, being able to have the floor balance and get back in transition."

Bulls teammates and coaches have repeatedly praised Rondo since he signed with the Bulls over the summer, and they were happy to have him back on the floor during Tuesday's loss to thePistonsin Detroit.

"It was good," Bulls guard Dwyane Wade said of having Rondo back. "That's our starting point guard. We need veteran guys on this team. We need our bodies. He's our leader today, so when we got down early, he was the one who kept talking to us defensively. He's so smart out there on the floor, takes certain things away, get out in open transition. The reason we got back in the game, he did a good job of leading us in those moments."

Rondo, who has now been suspended seven times since 2012 for a variety of reasons, didn't seem too concerned about how his latest setback would affect his image.

"People want to write what they write," Rondo said. "I'm OK with where I am in my life and what I bring to this team."

Rondo seemed reflective at times during his five-minute postgame news conference.

"Am I too smart for my own good?" he said, while repeating a question. "I don't think so. I always try to increase my intelligence. I'm always trying to learn the game. I love to listen to people's opinions. They might say 10 things, and nine might be bulls---, but the one thing I can learn from I always try to pick that up, put it into my game."

Rondo has always been considered one of the most cerebral players in the league by his peers. He showed no trepidation in answering questions, even joking that reporters should have talked to him before Monday's game while he was working out in the Bulls' practice facility.

"I don't really read the papers," Rondo said. "I don't have Instagram or social media, so whatever you guys write, good luck with what you're writing. I'm going to continue to work as hard as I can to be the best player for this team and try to lead the right way."

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