Boston Celtics: 2013RondoFight
* WANNA BE STARTIN' SOMETHIN'?: Rondo was the clear aggressor in Wednesday's dust-up. Yes, Humphries' foul brought Garnett to the ground, but it looked worse than it probably was (even if Garnett and coach Doc Rivers contend it was a hard foul). Crew chief James Capers noted in a pool report, "Rondo initiated everything that proceeded after the foul." Rondo was clearly the instigator and will be in a harsher spotlight because of it.
* STANDS BY ME: This isn't even close to a Malice at the Palace type situation, but Rondo's aggression toward Humphries forced the two players into the stands below one of the baskets -- a big no-no and cause for automatic ejection in the league rulebook.
* PUNCHING IN: When league officials review tape of the incident, it will be interesting to see if they determine that Rondo (or Garnett or Wallace) threw any punches during the flare-up. Crew chief Capers suggested that neither Garnett nor Wallace threw a visible punch, part of the reason Garnett was not ejected. The league will be looking even closer than the officials did.
With one- and two-game bans in the past, the next logical step for Rondo seems like at least a three-game ban. Might the league come down harder with a five- or 10-game suspension? Or will they head to the other extreme and settle for a milder slap on the wrist?
Your turn: What should the punishment be for Rondo? Vote in the poll and sound off in the comments.
"That was unnecessary," Terry said. "Some guys are tough. Some guys pretend to be. [Humphries is] one of those that pretends to be. I played with him. Maybe that's the role [Nets head coach] Avery [Johnson] wants him to have, but he could leave that to somebody else."
Asked to elaborate on what kind of player Humphries is, Terry said: "Soft."
Terry maintained that stance, even when informed that Celtics head coach Doc Rivers had labeled Boston as a soft team following the loss.
"Well, Humphries might as well come play with us then, if that's the case," said Terry.
Terry was involved in the initial pile that spilled into the stands, before being pulled away and restrained by Brooklyn's Keith Bogans.
"Well, being a veteran, I wanted to, first, protect my teammates and make sure no one was seriously injured," Terry said. "And then, after that, whatever happens, happens. I'm more of a peacemaker at this point in my career. If this was five years ago, I might have thrown the first punch. So, I've got to watch myself now, but, at the same time, I definitely want to protect my teammates first."
Though Rondo is one of the quieter members of the team, his reaction to the hard foul didn't surprise Terry.
"Not at all. Again, we've got each other's backs in this locker room, regardless of what it may look like, or what people say or assume -- that soft thing," Terry said. "That word is always thrown around, but, to a man, I believe we're very tough individuals. But, with Rondo coming in, taking it up for KG, that just shows you. That's your point guard taking it up for your big man, so that shows you his toughness."
After Nets forward Kris Humphries delivered a foul that sent Kevin Garnett crashing hard to the floor, Rondo took exception and immediately confronted Humphries, delivering a two-handed shove. The two then got tangled, with Rondo the aggressor, and spilled into the stands beneath the basket in front of the Celtics' bench as players and coaches from both teams rushed onto the court with security and team personnel trying to defuse the situation.
Humphries ended up falling backwards, but managed to pull Rondo's jersey up over his head as the two were quickly swarmed. At the same time, Garnett and Gerald Wallace were jostling with each other nearby.
After a video review, the referees ejected both Humphries and Rondo for fighting -- crew chief James Capers later explained to a pool reporter that, by going into the stands, the two were involved in a fight that required ejection. Humphries earned two technical fouls, including one for taking Garnett to the floor with a second personal foul after the initial contact.
As for whether Garnett or Wallace threw a punch, Capers added, "As we reviewed it, no. They aggressively went to one another, and they basically pushed and extended on one another, but there was not a punch thrown."
That might spare both players much more than a possible fine. Wallace had an earlier technical foul and the dust-up with Garnett left him ejected. Garnett remained in the game with only one technical.
Garnett admitted the team is worried about a possible suspension for Rondo, but liked how his teammate stood up for him.
"Obviously, we are (worried about a possible suspension)," Garnett said. "But it's what it is. You have to protect each other, and we consider ourselves family around here, and that's just the way it is."
Asked about the initial infraction on Humphries, Garnett said, "Just a hard foul. I thought the antics afterward were a bit extra, but, (it was a) hard foul."
A pool reporter spoke with crew chief James Capers following the second-quarter altercation that left Rajon Rondo, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace ejected (read more HERE). Here's the full transcript:
Q: What specifically prompted the ejection of Rondo?
Capers: Rondo initiated everything that proceeded after the foul. And when he and Humphries go into the stands, they are involved in a fight. Fighting is an automatic ejection.
Q: What were the reasons for the two technical fouls on Humphries?
Capers: When Kevin goes to the basket, he is rerouted by Humphries. So we had a personal foul for the reroute. Kevin is trying to continue -- to get a continuation by shooting -- and now Humphries hits him. Because the whistle blew, it was a dead-ball situation, and that's a technical foul for contact during a dead ball ... What proceeds after that is a fight, so he's ejected.
Q: Did Wallace or Garnett throw a punch?
Capers: As we reviewed it, no. They aggressively went to one another, and they basically pushed and extended on one another, but there was not a punch thrown.
Q:What prompted their technicals?
Capers: For the escalating of the event. And then Wallace (already) had one, so therefore he was ejected.
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