DALLAS – Rajon Rondo didn’t get all bent out of shape after coach Rick Carlisle decided to sit him for the final 5:12 of the Dallas Mavericks’ 102-98 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.
When Doc Rivers coached the Boston Celtics and Rondo was the starting point guard, Rondo said the same thing occurred.
"Doc did that to me in the past,’’ Rondo said. "It’s not my first go-round. He made a decision. It’s over now.’’
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Obviously when the Mavs made the blockbuster trade to acquire Rondo form the Celtics on Dec. 18, it was done so with the notion that the mercurial point guard would be able to make crucial plays down the stretch. After all, that is his calling card.
"Obviously I want to be in there,’’ Rondo said. "I’ve been in a lot of big games, a lot of situations.
"I feel I can help my teammates win. But tonight it was a coach’s decision and that’s what it’s about.’’
Carlisle defended replacing Rondo with Devin Harris during crunch time.
"Just a coach’s decision down the stretch,’’ Carlisle said. "Not an easy one, but it’s just a coach’s decision.
"Listen, you’ve got to roll with your gut. When you’re in the position I’m in you’ve got to take the heat and you’ve got to welcome the heat because that’s what this job is about. But you’ve also got to roll with your gut, and that’s what we did and we just came up short – all of us -- and we all own it.’’
Rondo downplayed being on the bench when he wanted to be in the game.
"I’m just more appreciative of playing the game, very grateful to be playing the game I love so much,’’ he said. "Wake up every day and life is too short to complain about not playing five minutes of a big game.
"Like I said, I’m a competitor and I’m pretty sure you all know I wanted to be in the game. But it didn’t happen and I did my best cheering my teammates on.’’