Rajon Rondo Birthdaygate Update: Danny Ainge Told Him Come To Sacramento, Then Gives Him Stern Talking To When He Doesn’t


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If you missed it yesterday, Danny Ainge was interviewed on the Toucher and Rich morning show on 98.5 The Sports Hub. The topic was “birthdaygate.” Rondo of course stayed in Los Angeles last week after a game against the Lakers instead of traveling with the team to Sacramento for a game that he would not be playing in. To celebrate his 28th birthday.

Ya got that? A grown ass man who doesn’t show up to work because it’s his 28th birthday. Apparently the deposit on Bozo the Clown was nonrefundable.

When asked initially why Ainge claimed that Rondo did not have permission to do this. He forgot to mention that Rondo did ask and was explicitly told “no.”:

“He let Brad know and he let me know he was going to stay in L.A. an extra day and we didn’t that that he should, but it’s your choice and there may be consequences if you stay. It’s that simple.” 

There MAY be consequences. Not, “you better get your ass on that plane to Sacramento because we’re paying you millions of dollars and you are a “captain.”  But rather, if you don’t live up to your contract there is a chance that you will have to be held accountable for this. Maybe.

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Ainge continued:

“In the end, him and I had a long talk about it. He had planned it before and he had reason to believe it would be OK and I understand his reason to believe based on where he’s been and what he’s grown up with and what he’s seen and witnessed and you won’t see that happen again.”

 A stern talking to from Danny Ainge. If those aren’t consequences then I don’t know what is.

This quote basically sums up everything that’s wrong with America. No one is ultimately responsible for their actions as long as they had a troubled childhood. That’s what this means right? Danny “understands his reason” to not obey a direct order to come with the team to Sacramento? What exactly wasn’t there to understand? I gotta try this one the next time I have to miss work: 

“Yea, I saw in the contract that I had to come to work, and you told me I had to be there when I asked, but I like, I didn’t understand what you meant. Oh yea, but I’m from the hood, so all is forgiven.”

I’m sure that will go over like a fart in church. Seriously though, when a kid swears at a teacher he’s just expressing himself. He shouldn’t be punished because it’s what he sees at home. When little Billy hits another kid he can’t be punished because no one at home ever told him this wasn’t OK.

And these days when your son or daughter defies you, you’re not supposed to strike the fear of God into their heathen souls. No spanking. No yelling. Instead, you have a little pow wow with junior and talk about HIS feelings, and how his actions are hurting YOUR feelings.

spanking_motivational_poster_by_quantuminnovator-d602fm6You know how I learned proper behavior growing up? My Mom threatened to wash my mouth out with soap. Or she yelled at me. Or she took away things I liked. Or she chased me around the kitchen with a broom. I learned quickly what I could and could not do. Apparently Danny is from the Benjamin Spock school of learning though. He went on… 

“I think that now Rondo understands more clearly what we want out of him as a captain. That we want him on the road with the team, and his leadership on the bench is important whether he plays or doesn’t.”

First of all, I think it’s so corny to have a “captain.” Is this grade school or something?

“I’m captain.” 

“Nuh-uh, I called it first.”

What does that even mean? If you’re a leader, then you’re a leader. Period. You don’t need to be designated the captain. Everyone knows you’re the captain already. The “captain” of the team is abundantly clear in the locker room without having to get a special captain pin. Why on earth do we have to designate grown ass men captains? Isn’t the whole concept of a “captain” just something we tell kids to make them feel special?

What exactly has Rondo done that he should be designated this? Please tell me. As far as I can see he’s the “captain” because he’s been there the longest. It’s one of those things where the Big 3 left town, so if Rondo didn’t get “captaincy” then he’d go sit in the corner and pout. Because it’s no fair!!

I remember back when being a captain meant something. That’s because I was 17 and didn’t know any better. It meant something back then because you had to lead the stretches and whatnot. So do the Celtics stretch in a big circle with Rondo in the middle? Does he tell them when it’s time to switch stretches? Does he get to wear a captain pin on his varsity jacket?

albundy33_medium1More importantly, why did Rondo have to be told to go with the team on the road? I mean, he knew he had to be with this team already right? Because if he didn’t, then I’m kind of confused why he asked Ainge in the first place. Doesn’t this imply that he knew he was supposed to go, and thus was looking for special permission to celebrate the big two-eight?

I’m picturing this meeting the two of them had in my head right now.

Danny: Rondo, you’re the captain of this team. We need you to at least show your face at the games once in a while.

Rondo: Oh for real? I didn’t know that Danny. I’m from the hood. We don’t have rules there. Now I understand.

Danny wasn’t done though….. 

“Rondo is an emotional, stubborn kid. He’s very bright and I don’t mind these kinds of emotions. What I care about is he a guy I want to play with, play for, if the guys on the team back him and want him on their side night in and night out. Those are the really important issues. Rondo is never going to become Tom Brady and say all the politically correct things and do everything we want him to do, but we still love him in spite of that because his teammates back him and want him on their side. They will go to war with Rondo every time.”

So, is this the worst case of lowered expectations in the history of the world? First of all, he’s “bright.” Compared to who? Dennis Rodman? He went to the Kentucky public schools, which aren’t exactly known to be a producer of future Nobel Prize winners. He went to Kentucky all of two years, where I’m sure he took really challenging classes and became a learned scholar.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 9.58.14 PMAnd Rondo is never gonna be Tom Brady by doing what his boss wants him to do? That’s what makes Tom Brady so special? He follows directions?? Sounds like Bob Kraft really runs a tight ship up there. I could’ve sworn it was the fact that he lives and breathes football and clearly commands the respect of all his teammates and the NFL in general. But apparently the Celtics are content with a captain who says dumb things to the media and does what they want him to do occasionally. This seriously made me depressed as a Celtics fan.

His teammates want him on their side? They’re SUPPOSED TO want him on their side. This is what we’re celebrating about Rondo now? That’s like me saying,

“I love my wife, she never cheats on me.” 

Your wife is supposed to be faithful you low expectation mother f***er!!!” Same exact principle applies here. You show up to work when you’re paid. That makes you an average employee. If you go the extra mile and lead the team while you’re on the bench in street clothes, that’s what makes you a “captain.”

Rondo shouldn’t be a part of the long term plans here in Boston. As depressing as this is about to sound, 28 is kind of old. We’re talking about rebuilding here. By the time the Celtics are potentially good again in three years, he’ll be an ancient 31.

The bottom line is the guy just is not a winner at all. He might be one of the most athletically gifted players in the NBA, but ultimately he just doesn’t get it. I don’t want my team being lead by someone who thinks celebrating a 28th birthday is a real thing.

Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.

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