Bulls suspend Rajon Rondo one game for detrimental conduct

ByNick Friedell ESPN logo
Monday, December 5, 2016

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls have suspended guard Rajon Rondo one game for conduct detrimental to the team.

He will serve the suspension Monday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.

According to multiple league sources, the suspension is because of a verbal altercation Rondo had with lead assistant coach Jim Boylen during Saturday's loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The Vertical earlier reported the dispute. Rondo apologized to teammates and coaches on Sunday and participated in the Bulls' holiday party Sunday afternoon.

"It's been addressed," Bulls GM Gar Forman told ESPN's Brian Windhorst when asked what the issue was with Rondo. "We're moving on."

Rondo has played in 17 games (all starts) this season and averaged 8.2 points, 7.2 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 1.41 steals in 30.5 minutes.

He did miss two games, on Nov. 15 and Nov. 17, because of a sprained left ankle.

"Rajon will be suspended for tonight's game for conduct detrimental to the team," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "He and I met [Sunday], had a good meeting. He'll meet us at the plane tonight; he'll be back in uniform [Tuesday] against Detroit and moving forward. As far as the details, I'm not going to get in the details of it. We're going to move past it, and again, he'll be back in uniform tomorrow."

The 30-year-old veteran point guard is in his 11th season in the league, and his first with the Bulls, who signed him over the summer despite Rondo's reputation for not fitting in well at times in various locker rooms. He spent nine seasons with the Boston Celtics. He also played for the Mavericks and Sacramento Kings.

This is the seventh suspension for Rondo since 2012, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He was suspended on four occasions with the Celtics, once for fighting and three times for actions toward an official. He had one-game suspensions with the Mavericks, for conduct detrimental to the team, and with the Kings, for derogatory comments.

Early impressions of Rondo this season had been positive. Teammates and coaches repeatedly praised Rondo for his attitude before Saturday night's incident.

"Rajon has been great," Hoiberg said. "He's been a great teammate. I've enjoyed the relationship that we've developed. And again, that's not going to change moving forward."

"He's like a quarterback," Taj Gibson said of Rondo after Friday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. "Even though I never really played any contact football -- he always gathers the huddle. He always sees what's going on in the game. He's always encouraging. Like "Come on, let's go. Let's go." He's always pushing it. But he's just a great teammate. I know he got a lot of criticism before the year, a lot of people talk about the negatives that's in him, but he's been showing me nothing but great stuff on and off the court. He's a great player and he's a great leader."

Second-year guard Jerian Grant will start in Rondo's place against the Trail Blazers.

Also Monday, the Bulls announced that forward Doug McDermott was assigned to the Windy City Bulls. He is expected to only practice with the D-League as he makes his way out of the league's concussion protocol. McDermott missed the past nine games because of a concussion suffered Nov. 12 and is not expected to play on Monday or Tuesday against theDetroit Pistons.

"Doug's doing great," Hoiberg said. "He's going to practice today with the Windy City Bulls. They're going to practice here at our facility. And hopefully he has a good day, and we'll get him back at some point later in the week."

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