In an NBA season that has been full of drama, it appears as though a new feud has been created.
If you recall, last month, Isaiah Thomas was involved in an odd conflict in regards to his tribute video being played in Boston on the day of Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement. Although that wouldn’t have ended up mattering (since he was traded before the game took place), former Celtics (and current New Orleans Pelicans) point guard Rajon Rondo inserted himself into the conversation.
"What has he done?” Rondo asked Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram. Told that he led the Celtics to the conference finals last year, Rondo remarked, “Oh, that’s what we celebrate around here?”
Rondo added, “This is the Boston Celtics. This isn’t the Phoenix Suns, no disrespect to any other organization, but you don’t hang conference titles. Do we hang going to the conference finals? What do we hang here?”
Therefore, when the two point guards matched up on Wednesday, emotions were running high. In the first quarter, the two tangled and were both assessed double-technicals which resulted in immediate ejections. Check out the altercation below:
Since no punches were thrown, it was a bit odd to see both players tossed. But, the referees felt as though they crossed the line.
After the game, Thomas spoke out to reporters about the incident and revealed that the tribute video was part of Rondo’s issue with him.
"Whatever reason, he's an upset guy about me," Thomas told reporters, per ESPN. "I don't know what it is, but it's fine. He kept bringing the tribute up when I was the one that shut the tribute down. I'm far past that. ... For me to be ejected was uncalled for."
"I mean, my team beat his team in the playoffs last year," Thomas added. "Maybe that is what's wrong. I don't know. There's nothing. Nothing should've made that escalate like it did. He already had his agenda written down right when I checked into the game. It was obvious. He picked me up full court, trying to be physical.”
Thomas also had no idea why he was thrown out of the game.
"I don't know what was going on with him,” IT said. “I don't know why I got thrown out. I don't want to comment too much on it. ... It was obvious what was going on. He was being too aggressive for whatever reason, and he also hit me in the face three times. At some point, as a human, if no one is going to protect me, I got to protect myself, and that is when I spoke up and got upset. I hope the NBA figures something out with that, because it was wrong for me to be ejected.”
Rondo did not talk to reporters after the game to offer his side of the story. Nonetheless, all eyes will be on the two point guards when their teams square off again in New Orleans on March 22.