DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo said everything is back to normal between him and coach Rick Carlisle.
Rondo was back at practice Friday and talking to the media for the first time since the Mavs suspended him from playing in Wednesday’s game in Atlanta for conduct detrimental to the team. That "conduct’’ involved an ugly scene when Rondo and Carlisle had a heated profanity-laced exchange with 8:10 left in Tuesday’s home game against the Toronto Raptors.
"We just had a little discussion on the court and it led to a suspension,’’ Rondo said after Friday’s practice. "I think he had some frustrations with me and vice versa.
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"Communication is definitely key in this situation, and we’ve had a couple of talks since then and we’re going to move forward.’’
The Mavs are all basically saying they hope the Rondo-Carlisle dust-up is an aberration, because they have some lofty goals they have to obtain this season.
"We have high goals this season, obviously of making the playoffs and then making a long playoff run,’’ 13-time All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "You can’t make that or can’t do that if guys are pulling in different directions.
"I think (Carlisle and Rondo are) both smart enough to know that. We’ve got to be on the same page going forward.’’
Obviously, Carlisle and Rondo weren’t on the same page when the incident occurred which touched off this explosive firestorm. Rondo ignored a command from Carlisle, who angrily rushed onto the court to call timeout.
As Rondo was walking to the bench, Carlisle shouted something at him, Rondo cursed at Carlisle, and Carlisle hurled those same curse words back at Rondo.
The next day the Mavs suspended Rondo from Wednesday’s game in Atlanta without pay, but he will be in the starting lineup Saturday when the Mavs (39-21) host the Brooklyn Nets (23-32).
"Everything’s been back to normal,’’ Carlisle said Friday. "I know that you guys need to ask (Rondo) a couple of questions, but I’m done talking about it and our other players are done talking about it.
"It’s over. Certainly in NBA time it’s light years ago.’’
Rondo refused to say what percentage of the play-calling he’s going now and what percentage would be more palatable to him. But he did stay longer after practice Friday and work on his free throw shooting, which is among the worst in the NBA.
Rondo shot 33.3 percent from the free throw line in 22 games with Boston this season and he’s shooting a paltry 28 percent from the line in 25 games with the Mavs. Meanwhile, Rondo sounded like he’s all-in going forward as far as trying to help the Mavs accomplish their long-range goals.
"I’m going to do what’s best for the team and play my heart for these next 22 or 23 games we have left and make a run in the playoffs.
"I don’t want to get into any more questions and Rick. We’ve moved forward and our team has moved forward and we’ve got a game to look forward to tomorrow.’’