Report: Lakers’ Rajon Rondo defends himself and calls Chris Paul ‘a horrible teammate’

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error It’s worth noting that Paul is close friends with LeBron James, and James pulled Paul away from the fracas. When asked about it on Monday, James said there was nothing significant about him appearing to react to protect Paul, only that he was concerned with breaking up the fight as fast as possible.Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs The feud between Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul has continued into the week, but instead of fists, the two former All-Stars are now exchanging words in the press.Rondo struck Tuesday, telling ESPN that Paul is “a horrible teammate” as he defended his own actions in the melee that wound up with both of them suspended. The NBA suspended Paul for two games and Rondo for three. Brandon Ingram was also suspended for four games, but much of the controversy in the last few days has swirled around Paul and Rondo and their apparently decade-long rivalry.One of the reasons the NBA gave Rondo a longer suspension than Paul (besides throwing the first punch) was that high-resolution video confirmed Paul’s account that Rondo spit on him. The spit provoked Paul to jab a finger in Rondo’s face, leading to the ugly brawl that required a number of other players to split the two men apart.Rondo told ESPN that if he spit, it was not intentional: “I had a mouthpiece in my mouth and I (was) exasperated because I was about to tell him to ‘get the (expletive) out of here.’” Rondo pointed out in the replay that his hands were on his hips, and he was not ready for Paul to retaliate (which he would have been if he meant to spit). Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersHe also went after Paul’s image, saying that the media was quick to side with him after the spat. He cited the famed “secret passage” incident between the Rockets and Clippers as evidence that Paul’s reputation belies his true character.“Everyone wants to believe Chris Paul is a good guy,” he said in the report. “They don’t know he’s a horrible teammate. They don’t know how he treats people. Look at what he did last year when he was in L.A.; trying to get to the Clippers’ locker room. They don’t want to believe he’s capable of taunting and igniting an incident.”Multiple reports have unearthed bad blood between the two dating to at least 2009, when they had a minor confrontation after a game (Rondo was on the Celtics; Paul was on the Hornets). There has been media speculation that there might be ties to when Rondo was snubbed from the 2008 Olympic team that Paul won a gold medal with.Rondo didn’t seem to like the rumors that arose. While he remained short in comments at Monday’s shootaround to multiple media members, he subsequently decided to be more expansive.“I was going to let it rest,” he said. “I wasn’t going to say much. But now I have kids, and I teach my kids to speak up for themselves and don’t let the world tell their story.” How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed last_img read more