While maintaining it was in the past and not a big deal, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge shed light on the disconnect between the team and Rajon Rondo late last month when the captain did not travel with the team from Los Angeles to Sacramento. Rondo, not scheduled to play on the second night of a back-to-back as part of his recovery from ACL surgery, elected to stay behind in Los Angeles (where the Celtics had played the Lakers) and celebrate his 28th birthday while his teammates lost to the Kings. Ainge confirmed Wednesday that Rondo had told both him and coach Brad Stevens of his intent to stay behind and was told that would be frowned upon. “He let Brad know and he let me know that he was going to stay in L.A. an extra day,” Ainge said in his weekly interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub. “We didn’t think that he should, but [told him] ‘It’s your choice and there may be consequences if you stay.’ It’s that simple.” It does not appear there were any consequences, at least none that were revealed publicly. “In the end, him and I had a long talk about it. This was all happening over the phone,” Ainge said. “He had planned it before and he had reason believe that it would be OK. I understand his reason to believe based on where he’s been and what he’s grown up with and what he’s seen and witnessed. You won’t see it happen again and we’ve just moved on from it.” In Rondo’s eyes, he was still playing by the rules of the previous regime.
Ainge: We told Rondo not to stay behind
ESPN Boston | Mar 5