Rajon Rondo has reportedly been suspended one game after bumping a referee during the fourth quarter of the Boston Celtics' 83-74 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Mike Dowling first reported the suspension.
Rondo, upset about a loose ball foul call that went the other way, approached Marc Davis and lambasted him, resulting in a technical foul, with 0:41 to play in the game. As Davis walked towards the scorer's table, Rondo followed him and chest bumped him in the back, at which points Davis ejected him. Boston, which trailed 78-74 at the time, couldn't recover.
Rajon Rondo Suspension: Rondo Out One Game For Bumping Ref - SB Nation Boston
As expected, the league dropped the hammer on Bumpgate with a one-game suspension on Rondo for Game 2 tomorrow night.
By the letter of the law, Rondo deserved it and Stern intimated that this morning on The Herd. (Just a quick side bar: I hate it when Stern starts any sentence with "as a fan." He said that a lot during the lockout. Commissioner, you're not a fan. You're the commissioner. You'll never hear Barack Obama say, "well, as a tax payer...") OK, so you can't touch a ref. I get that, but whether it was an accidental trip or an intentional chest bump, the NBA has a lot to be desired when it comes to its officiating. These guys are letting it get to their heads that they're untouchable. It's becoming an epidemic. From Jeff Van Gundy's tirade about Lebron's flopping in Game 1 to Stephen A. Smith's criticism this morning on ESPN's First Take, the league is deservedly taking it on the chin. When I'm begging on my couch that Shaq, Barkley, and Kenny Smith should officiate these games, you know there's a problem.
Now, it's hard to take Tim Donaghy's word on anything basketball, but here's what he had to say about Marc Davis on Dennis & Callahan this afternoon:
Davis is one of those guys that has rabbit ears for certain people. He's a referee that thinks people pay for their tickets to come and see him. He's one of those guys that has a little bit of an ego. So, I'm sure it's not the first time that he's had a problem with Rondo, or something else happened in that game for Rondo to go after him and bump him over that call right there during that point of the game. Something else triggered that.
Whether or not Davis invites this kind of spotlight is irrelevant. To me, I don't think Rondo commands the level of respect that he should be. Sure, he's young and brash, but he's also a three-time All Star and the league leader in a$sists. What he did was stupid and definitely reprehensible, but I'm not sure he's being treated as the superstar he is right now. Forsberg makes the argument that Rondo's contact with Davis is no different than Hedo Turkoglu's or Robin Lopez, but the fact of the matter is, that was Hedo Turkoglu and Robin Lopez. A team's frustration should be funneled through its leaders and for the Celtics, Rondo is one of them. Discounting the situation where the game is in the balance and what should have been called a jump ball became a loose ball fall on Brandon Bass, Rondo should have been given some leeway.
Rondo Suspended For Game 2 - CelticsBlog