LOS ANGELES – Some 12 days after his infamous profanity-laced exchange with Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, point guard Rajon Rondo still doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.
Yes, Rondo gets it that it’s not an endearing quality to curse out his coach the way he did on Feb. 24 during a third-quarter timeout of a Mavs’ home game against the Toronto Raptors. But after Sunday’s 100-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at the STAPLES Center, Rondo acknowledged that getting into dust-ups with coaches is simply a part of his makeup.
"I don’t think there’s not one coach I’ve played with that I haven’t got into it with,’’ Rondo said after producing eight points and nine assists against the Lakers. "I think all of our relationships are fine.’’
The Mavs fined Rondo one game without pay for his shouting match with Carlisle. And all appears back to normal between he and Carlisle.
But Rondo said he’s has had some legendary shouting matches with his college coach at Kentucky, Tubby Smith. And he’s had some legendary shouting matches with coach Doc Rivers when the two were with the Boston Celtics.
Thus, Rondo doesn’t see anything wrong when a player and a coach get sideways with one another. In Rondo’s world, it’s just business, as far as he is concerned.
And no matter what level of coaching it is and the sheepskin the coach carries, Rondo doesn’t discriminate.
"I like to test where the coaches are at and I think they like to test me,’’ Rondo said. "So I’ve gotten into a shouting match with a lot of my coaches in my past years.
"It started when I was around six years old. I got into it with my Little League football coach.’’
In addition to his flare-ups with coaches, Rondo also discussed his upcoming free agency. It became a hop topic for the nine-year veteran way back when he and Laker guard Kobe Bryant had breakfast together back in December as Bryant was basically trying to recruit Rondo, who, at the time, was playing for the Celtics.
"When (Bryant) speaks, it speaks volumes," Rondo said. "It's an honor and a compliment that he'd want to play with a guy like me.
"But right now I'm focused on winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks.’’