In perhaps the least shocking news of the NBA season, Rajon Rondo’s “back injury” that sidelined him after Game 2 of the Dallas Mavericks’ first round series against the Houston Rockets was…and we hope you’re sitting down…total bullshit. The headstrong point guard was traded in December to push the Mavs over the hump in a loaded Western Conference. Well, the complete opposite happened.
The Mavs and Rondo made a mutual decision to part ways the next day, sources told ESPNDallas.com, framing the reasoning as a back injury as a favor to try to help the four-time All-Star point guard save face.
The truth was that the Mavs didn’t want Rondo, who was going to be replaced in the starting lineup regardless, pouting and rubbing off on other players, Ellis in particular. Essentially, the Mavs made a drastic move in an attempt to do damage control on a chemistry crisis.
Fabricating an injury is one thing, but Rondo was such a cancer that his soon-to-be-former teammates voted to withhold his playoff share (players vote on such matters).
Multiple sources: Rajon Rondo did not receive a playoff share from the Dallas Mavericks.
— Eddie Sefko (@ESefko) April 29, 2015
Rondo wasn’t the only reason the Mavericks fizzled out in five games against the Rockets — injuries to key players and comically bad defense played major roles — but the team now has to figure out how to construct a team around Dirk Nowitzki all over again. This may be one solution:
Dirk Nowitzki says he would even be willing to accept a bench role, if it meant the @dallasmavs could add marquee free agents.
— Earl K. Sneed (@EarlKSneed) April 29, 2015
It certainly can’t be worse than the Rondo disaster.