Warriors downplay Rajon Rondo's 'dangerous' tactics despite Steve Kerr's concerns

ByChris Haynes ESPN logo
Sunday, May 6, 2018

NEW ORLEANS -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr says he loves the competitive fire of Draymond Green and Rajon Rondo, but he's concerned that the Pelicans point guard is resorting to "dangerous" tactics.

"I think Draymond's done a good job of handling his business," Kerr said after Saturday's practice. "Rondo is a competitor. So they're competing. I don't see anything wrong with it other than the tripping [by Rondo]. You can't do that. I'm all for getting underneath guys' skin, but you can't try to step on a guy's foot or try to swipe a guy underneath his feet while he's shooting. Those are dangerous plays. Other than that, I like the competition."

Kerr was referring to two incidents in Game 3 on Friday that both involved Rondo.

In the first quarter, he dangled his right foot underneath an airborne Stephen Curry while the two-time MVP was shooting a jumper. Late in the game, it appeared that Rondo tried to trip Green from behind as the forward was walking toward his bench during a timeout.

Kerr acknowledged that he "possibly" spoke to the league about those plays.

"We'll probably send [the tape of the incidents] in," he said. "It's not going to do anything. Hopefully they just keep an eye on it. ... It's a dangerous play."

Kerr's players were less critical of Rondo's conduct.

"I got no comment," Curry told ESPN. "If the league wants to look into it, that's on them. We're trying to win Game 4."

Even an outspoken Green gave Rondo a pass.

"I don't think there's a such thing as crossing a line in basketball," the power forward said. "You're competing, so when you're competing, you're going to do what you've got to do to win. So I never understand when people say somebody's crossing the line. I said he's trying to bait me [yesterday]. Yeah, he's trying to bait me to get a technical foul. At the end of the day, that's still him trying to win a basketball game. Y'all create these narratives of somebody crossing the line. There is no crossing the line to win. You're going to do whatever you got to do to win. So I don't know what crossing the line means. So, no, I don't think he's crossing the line. I think he's trying to win a basketball game.

"...Y'all say I cross a line. I say I did what I set out to do or I didn't do what I set out to do and, most importantly, to win a basketball game. So, yeah, I don't believe in crossing a line."

When asked particularly about Rondo placing his foot under Curry, Green pivoted with his response.

"I think Steph will have a better shooting day tomorrow," he said. "[Kevin Durant] will have a better shooting day tomorrow. Klay [Thompson] will be even better than he was tomorrow. And I think we'll do what we came here to do, which is to win the game."

Durant said he didn't see the Curry play, but he considers it a nonissue.

"Nah, it's basketball," he said. "Just keep playing. Nothing's going on with that. I haven't seen it, but it's basketball. S--- like that happens."

Golden State is up 2-1 in this Western Conference semifinal series. Game 4 is at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

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