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Rajon Rondo on his behavior: ‘I’ll adapt’ to NBA

01.08.13 at 3:12 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo said Tuesday he was simply making a joke with official Rodney Mott when he bumped him in Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, which along with what the NBA said was “a failure to cooperate with a league investigation” ended in a one-game suspended for Monday’s game against the Knicks.

On Saturday, Rondo was called for an offensive foul when he ran into Atlanta’s Josh Smith with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter, and made contact with Mott as he protested the call.

“Yeah, I thought Josh flopped,” Rondo told reporters Tuesday. “I told Rodney, his body size and what he weighs, and look at me, there’s no way I could have made him go into the stands off of contact. [Mott] laughed, threw the ball in, and we got back on defense.”

Rondo said he talked to league officials about the bump and didn’t understand why he was cited for failing to cooperate.

“I don’t know about an investigation,” Rondo said. “I don’t feel it was needed to have an investigation. I know Rodney, and that particular time on that play, I actually went up to him and I made a joke, he laughed. In the midst of it I guess I touched him. I did touch him, and the league, I guess, reviewed it. The media blew it up on SportsCenter or whatever, and I served a one-game suspension.”

Rondo insisted Tuesday he “didn’t drop any bad words” on his chat with the NBA Monday. But reporters, after Rondo agreed to a limited number of questions, kept pressing the point guard on the issue.

“I said like one or two questions,” Rondo said. “You [reporters] are asking like 30 questions. That situation’s over, man. They did what they had to do. Ask the league, you know?”

Monday’s suspension was Rondo’s fourth in less than a year, and second this season. When asked if he felt like a “repeat offender” in the league’s eyes, Rondo turned sarcastic.

“Yeah, I feel like I’m a criminal. I go to court a lot, they say investigation — what happened during the investigation?” Rondo said. “I’m not on trial or anything, it’s just how it is when you’re dealing with the league when you get in a little bit of trouble. I’m a repeat offender. I don’t know if I have two or three strikes, but it is what it is.”

Rondo admitted he might have to “adapt” his behavior as the NBA keeps his conduct under close monitoring.

“Maybe. I may have to, but I’ll adapt. I’ll learn the game,” Rondo said. “But I’m an emotional player in that aspect. I think at that time I had a triple-double, we were up 10. I wasn’t angry. I didn’t go over and yell at Rodney. I think he even said that in his statement. But the league put the hammer down and made a decision.”

Rondo also discussed the incident that took place after Monday’s win, in which Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony approached the Celtics‘ team bus after verbally sparring with Kevin Garnett for much of the game. Video of the incident showed Rondo nearby as Anthony hovered close to Boston’s bus.

“I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Carmelo Anthony,” Rondo said. “I talked to KG, but like I said, we’ll focus on Phoenix tomorrow and getting better here as the Celtics. There was a couple people at the bus. I thought everybody was coming to talk to each other and figure out some things, going to dinner next time. I don’t know.”

Rondo said he knew Anthony and Garnett had been going at it during the game, but didn’t realize Anthony’s behavior carried over afterward.

“No, I didn’t. I actually left my location where I was watching the game around like three minutes to go in the fourth to get to the team bus, and I didn’t know what had happened,” Rondo said. “They were talking trash in the game, but I didn’t know it escalated to whatever happened after the game.”

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

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Videos: How Carmelo Anthony-Kevin Garnett feud unfolds during quintessential Celtics-Knicks battle

01.08.13 at 7:47 am ET
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Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony barked at each other throughout Monday night’s 102-96 Celtics victory against the rival Knicks, and for once KG didn’t appear to be the instigator. Instead, Anthony pushed and prodded Garnett every chance he got, stormed through the visiting tunnel towards the Celtics locker room after the game and eventually waited by the C’s team bus to confront his fellow All-Star.

Between the whistles, the referees did a poor job controlling the escalating feud. On the play preceding their double technicals, Garnett and Anthony exchange shoves for what seems like a lifetime directly in front of referee Violet Palmer, and as my wife said upon her first Dick Bavetta sighting, “Is he even alive?”

As Anthony’s Knicks teammate Marcus Camby said of Garnett, “He talks a lot, but that’€™s pretty much to pump himself up. He’€™s been doing that so long that it’€™s amazing how guys still succumb to it.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, NBA

Reports: Carmelo Anthony confronts Kevin Garnett after game

01.08.13 at 6:25 am ET
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According to a report on ESPNNewYork.com, Carmelo Anthony approached the Celtics locker room on Monday at Madison Square Garden moments after the Celtics 102-96 win over the Knicks. Building security and New York City police officers were called upon later as Anthony attempted to approach Kevin Garnett near the Celtics’ team bus, sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

Anthony was evidently still angry after being involved in an exchange of elbow-throwing with Garnett in the fourth quarter, actions that led to technical fouls for both players. After the game, Anthony walked off the floor and out of the tunnel that visiting teams use, instead of exiting out of the Knicks’ tunnel. A source told ESPNNewYork.com that Anthony approached the Celtics’ locker room and was screaming, though it wasn’t known if the screaming was directed at Garnett.

A video at CSNNE.com shows Anthony waiting for Garnett near the Celtics’ team bus. A shouting match between the two reportedly ensued, with Knicks coach Mike Woodson coming to the scene to take Anthony away.

Anthony refused to speak to the media after the game, and Garnett downplayed the incident.

“Listen, heat of the battle, man. Guys go back and forth. He’s trying to get his team to go, I’m trying to get my team to go, both teams are colliding, not to mention that it’s the Knicks and the Celtics,” Garnett said. “Just what it is, man.”

For more Celtics news visit weei.com/celtics.

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Celtics beat Knicks for third straight win

01.07.13 at 10:19 pm ET
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Playing without Rajon Rondo — due to the point guard’s one-game suspension — the Celtics beat the Knicks, 102-96, Monday night at Madison Square Garden. It marked only the Celts’ second three-game winning streak of the season.

The Celtics have now beaten the Knicks — who lost just their fourth Eastern Conference matchup in 18 tries this season — in 19 of the teams’ last 23 meetings.

Filling in for Rondo was Avery Bradley, who finished with 13 points and five assists. Leading the offense for the Celtics was Paul Pierce, whose three-pointer :46 helped seal the deal for the visitors. Pierce finished with 23 points.

Helping matters for the Celtics was a horrific shooting performance by New York’s Carmelo Anthony, who had scored at least 40 points in two of his last three games and averaged 30 points in each of his past four contests against Boston. This time, Anthony shot just 6-of-26 from the floor, finishing with 20 points.

Also contributing for the Celtics were Kevin Garnett (19 points, 9 rebounds), and Jeff Green, who had 16 points off the bench.

The win boosts the Celtics’ record to .500 (17-17). It was also just the Knicks fourth home loss of the season.

For a complete recap, click here.

For more Celtics news, go to the team page at weei.com/celtics.

Rajon Rondo suspended again by the NBA

01.07.13 at 5:12 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo has been suspended one game without pay for making contact with a game official and failure to cooperate with a league investigation, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations. It is the second suspension for Rondo this season, after serving a two-game suspension for his shoving Kris Humphries on Nov. 28.

The latest incident involving official Rodney Mott occurred with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter of the Celtics‘€™ 89-81 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at Philips Arena. Rondo will serve his suspension tonight when the Celtics play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

There’s a secondary angle to the story. Hawks GM Danny Ferry is being fined $15,000 for approaching the NBA referees and handing them a videotape of the incident after the game.

The league has a strict rule about players or team officials approaching a referee after the game, for any reason, so Ferry was hit with the fine by the league.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

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Why did Celtics waive Kris Joseph, Jarvis Varnado?

01.06.13 at 9:29 pm ET
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The Celtics waived rookie forwards Kris Joseph and Jarvis Varnado on Sunday. But why?

The C’s second-round draft pick, Joseph appeared in mostly garbage time of six games for the Celtics, but he averaged 17.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 10 games for the Red Claws in the NBA Development League, so this transaction comes as a surprise.

Meanwhile, Varnado averaged just 1.2 points in 4.0 minutes over five appearances after signing from the D-League on Christmas Eve, and Fab Melo‘s emergence may have made him expendable.

The moves give the Celtics flexibility in two arenas:

1) Both Joseph and Varnado were playing on non-guaranteed contracts, and their waivers come prior to Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline to cut such players. After signing Jason Terry to the mid-level exception, the Celtics are forced to adhere to the NBA’s $74.3 million hard cap. These moves save the Celtics a few hundred thousand dollars, which doesn’t sound like much, but it opens the possibility of adding a veteran minimum talent like Kenyon Martin down the road.

2) The departures of Joseph and Varnado free up the team’s final two roster spots. Considering Danny Ainge‘s rumored interest in just about every big on the market, including DeMarcus Cousins and Marcin Gortat, the Celtics could take on additional players or slightly more dollars in a potential trade.

Either way, those roster spots won’t remain empty until June.

Read More: Boston Celtics, DeMarcus Cousins, Jarvis Varnado, Kris Joseph

Kevin Garnett: ‘This game was not some sort of foreplay’

01.05.13 at 10:09 am ET
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Kevin Garnett has a way with words unlike any other Celtic. He knows what to say and when to say it, especially to his teammates.

That showed Friday night after the Celtics disposed of the Pacers, 94-75, at TD Garden, a game in which he was ejected for a shot to the face of Tyler Hansbrough with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.

‘€œI was firm, I didn’€™t mean to get him in the face like that, I was actually trying to swipe the ball but it was a physical game and they called it the way it was, part of the game,” Garnett said of the “flagrant-2″ foul that earned him the rest of the night off.

Garnett and Doc Rivers have been pleading with the Celtics to stay true to the defensive principles that have been the cornerstone of the Celtics for the past five seasons. Friday night, Garnett had plenty of help on defense from Avery Bradley and Paul Pierce.

Was this type of ugly game, one that featured 107 missed shots, the kind of game that the Celtics need to play to get themselves out of the funk they’ve been in?

‘€œThis game was not some type of foreplay,” Garnett said. “I thought we came out firm and aggressive on both ends, but more importantly defensively. I thought we stayed sound for 48 minutes no matter who was in. Avery made a very very big impact on the game, I thought Paul’s defense was very energetic, and we followed those guys lead. You could tell from how we came into the locker room that we really needed this win.

‘€œYou know, since we’€™ve been in this funk, Doc’€™s been saying that through out this tough ordeal that we have to continue to play defense no matter what we’€™re doing. Offense cannot dictate defense. I feel like for the most part we did just that. Some nights you click, some nights you don’€™t, and tonight we just knew we needed to win to stop the bleeding and I feel like we went out and did it.’€

The message to Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Jeff Green?

‘€œThere’€™s no perfect answer to this, there’€™s no perfect situations,” Garnett said. “Everyone has to accept their roles wholeheartedly and embrace it, and tonight I think we did. Being consistent with those roles is what we want to be, if we want to be anything of a good team, everyone is going to have to fill those roles. It was just a full team effort from a defensive standpoint.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Kevin Garnett, NBA
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