The Pelicans beat the Lakers 139-117 last night in a game where Anthony Davis went 15 of 18 from the field, including 2 of 2 from deep, and made 10 of 11 from the line, for 42 points and 15 rebounds. That is an absolutely absurd night, but the real story wasn’t AD going off. The real story was Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo going off. And getting tossed.
And it was oh so predictable.
With under a minute to go in the first quarter, Rondo was teed up for hitting Thomas in the face with a forearm. Thomas hit the technical, and then on the ensuing inbounds play, they bumped each other. And then kept bumping each other until the refs intervened and threw them both out of the game. Before the end of the first quarter. You know things are bad when two guys get run inside 12 minutes.
So why is a guy in his first season with the Pelicans beefing with a guy playing his second game as a Laker? Because of the Celtics. And because of tribute videos. That makes complete and total sense. A guy who’s played with the Pelicans, Bulls, Kings, and Mavs since 2015 going street justice on tribute videos for the Celtics. Sure, why not. It feels like everything this season is about tribute videos.
You’ll recall that Rajon Rondo took great exception to the plans for Isaiah Thomas to get a tribute video. In fact, I’m not sure anyone has taken anything more seriously than Rondo took IT’s tribute video. When talking about the Thomas tribute, Rondo told the Telegram and Gazette last month: “What has he done?” When told that Thomas led Boston to the conference finals, Rondo said, “Oh, that’s what we celebrate around here?”
And then followed that up with: “This is the Boston Celtics. This isn’t the Phoenix Suns. No disrespect to any other organization, but you don’t hang conference titles. Do we hang going to the conference finals? What do we hang here?”
That’s some serious lumber, but according to IT, Rondo wasn’t done swinging. From the moment he came onto the court, he was picking up IT full-court and being extremely physical with him, hitting IT in the face multiple times. And according to Isaiah, bringing up the tribute video. Incredible: “Whatever reason, he’s an upset guy about me. I don’t know what it is, but it’s fine. He kept bringing the tribute up, when I was the one that shut the tribute down. I’m far past that.”
IT may have been far past that, but Rondo clearly wasn’t. Even though Rondo’s played with four teams since he left Boston, he’s still not past it. Bringing up the tribute video? That is the weirdest smack talk ever.
And not just throwing verbal jabs, but actual jabs over a video? Rondo is an intense dude. And he’s a different dude. And he brings a different kind of intensity to tribute videos. I get it, to some extent. Paul Pierce was his teammate. They won a ring together. So he’s going to have Pierce’s back.
But my man, please, let it go. Everyone, please let all of this go. This whole thing was a non-story that turned into a weeks-long story and it’s still going. Rondo’s not with the Celtics anymore. Isaiah’s not with the Celtics anymore. Isaiah’s not even with the team he was going to be with when he was going to receive the tribute video that he still hasn’t received.
Pierce got his tribute. Thomas didn’t get his. Let’s move on. Please. Please. Two dudes beefing about a team that neither one of them even play for anymore. Turn the page