Rajon Rondo is currently in the midst of serving a three-game suspension for allegedly spitting on Chris Paul during a fight in the fourth quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Houston Rockets.
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The Rondo-Paul rivalry runs extremely deep and dates all the way back to Paul’s days with the New Orleans Hornets and Rondo’s time with the Boston Celtics. Now, the rivalry seems to have spilled over, leading to an all-out brawl between the two.
In the days since the suspensions were handed out, Rondo has consistently maintained that he did not spit on Paul, while Paul insists that he did. In announcing punishments, which included Brandon Ingram receiving a four-game suspension, the NBA referenced Rondo spitting.
Since then, Rondo tried to stay out of further trouble, saying that there was no need to continue discussing the fight. However, Rondo later went on to slam Paul. He said that not only was the spit completely fabricated, he also called Paul a “horrible teammate.”
Rondo also pointed to reactions by Paul and the Rockets as proof he did not spit, via ESPN:
“I had a mouthpiece in my mouth and I was exasperated because I was about to tell him to ‘get the [expletive] out of here.’ Look at my body language [in the video]. My hands on my hips. I turn away for a second. Look at Eric [Gordon] and Melo [Carmelo Anthony] in the video. If they saw me spit, they would have turned their face up or something. They had no reaction.”
Regardless of how Rondo feels, a belief held by many is that everyone involved in the fight got off with very lenient suspensions. So it will be up to Rondo and Ingram, to contribute immediately when they return from their respective suspensions.
And looking further down the line, considering the nature of their fight and now Rondo’s criticism, it may very well be contentious when the Rockets and Lakers next meet.