What really happened between Paul and Rondo

Published: November 2, 2009

I was surprised last night when I read in the AP recap of the Hornets-Celtics game that Chris Paul “pursued [Rajon] Rondo toward the Celtics’ locker room and had to be blocked by Boston assistant coaches.”

That sounded very out of character for CP3. Sure, he has a mean streak on the court and he’s not looking to make any friends out there, but that’s true only between opening tip and final buzzer. All other times, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone speaking bad about Paul. So him going after Rondo like that didn’t make any sense to me.

It makes sense now that I’ve heard the full story. From Gary Washburn in The Boston Globe:

First, Paul walked over to shake hands and exchange congratulations with Paul Pierce following the Celtics’ rugged 97-87 win over Paul’s New Orleans Hornets. In the midst of that conversation, Paul was approached by Celtics guard Rajon Rondo – less than 24 hours away from signing a long-term extension in Boston or staying perhaps only one more season – who said some unkind words to his point guard counterpart.

Paul shot back at Rondo and the two had to be separated. Rondo was ushered to the tunnel by Celtics director of security Phil Lynch, while Paul continued his testy conversation with Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, and the two were seen yelling at each other while Paul slowly walked to toward the Hornets’ tunnel.

Ah, so Rondo sparked it off. I see.

I’m not posting this to excuse Chris’ role in the incident — he did take the bait after all — but I felt the need to balance out the misleading headlines I’ve seen popping up.

Yes, I’m looking at you, RealGM.

UPDATE: Video of the confrontation between Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo: 

Check it at 0:35 seconds and you see Rondo coming over bumping Chris and talking to him.

Chris Paul’s words about the incident from NOLA.com:

“I understand the situation I’m in — a guy is going to try and come at me, night in and night out,” Paul said. “I’m going to get his best shot.”

“He is a great point guard who has won an NBA championship, which is something I hope to achieve,” Paul said. “He is an aggressive player that comes out and play hard every night. What can I say, he has a ring.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: ESPN reports that the NBA is reviewing the incident. And some tweets from Chris Paul earlier today:

n jus to clear this up I never came close to approaching the Celts locker room last nite not sure where thats coming from…also me n coach Thibodeau never got in a shouting match, we talked…2 much respect for him, crazy how its twisted

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