Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rondo, The Cash Crusher

Item: The Dallas Mavericks have opted not to give Rajon Rondo a playoff share.

When I was a child, there was a short-run citrus soda that launched and died, because, well, it was awful. The name? Rondo. I kid you not. Lo and witness.

Your reaction to that commercial should be fairly similar to the reaction to this news, because, well... the Mavs just decided that their starting point guard in the first two games was of less value than guys who never got on the floor.

Keep in mind here that the players divide this, not the team. So Rondo's injury issue, and his excuse for getting out of the last three games of the playoff series against the Rockets, washed so little that the club decided to cut it 14 ways, rather than 15.

Now, seriously -- think about this for a minute, because I'm fairly sure that Rondo is going to think about it for a lifetime. Every active member of the Mavericks decided to stiff Rondo. Every active member of the club felt that his contributions were so negligible, if not out and out negative, that they would risk retribution later...

For a little more than a thousand bucks a man, for players that generally make millions.

In other words, a rounding error, or maybe dinner, drinks and the tip at one of the restaurants that these guys normally frequent.

But it goes far behind the $14K or so that doesn't go to the Rondo checking account. Think, instead, of the massive damage that's been done to the man's earning potential now that he's finally in free agent status, something he's clearly been agitating for since Boston stopped being a real contender.

Rondo is 28, owns a ring, supposedly plays top-tier defense, has been a top assist man in the Association. He's also worn out his welcome twice in six months now, and was such a bad guy to have around that his teammates in Dallas just chose to insult him in a way that, frankly, seems nearly unprecedented in recent NBA history.

Now, *someone* is going to sign this guy, even if, for nothing else, defensive bench depth. (Probably the Lakers; they certainly seem dumb enough.) Which means there will come a time, and probably no more than 6 to 8 months from now, when Rondo will be on a basketball court with his ex-teammates.

Technical fouls cost $2K. Flagrant fouls cost up to $35K.

Somehow, I get the feeling that this bill isn't entirely paid yet...

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