Rajon Rondo has been relatively quiet since his banishment from the Bulls lineup a couple weeks ago. On that very day he pledged to meet with Bulls management, and didn’t put forth much information about it.
I got a slight explanation from another guy on the staff. A guy told me that he was saving me from myself. I don't want to say any names. But that's what the explanation was. In Cleveland, they told me I had a negative 20 (plus-minus rating) in Indiana at halftime. I think that was part of the reason...I thought it was (expletive). Save me from myself. I never heard that before in my life. But I guess he was trying to do the best thing for me.
One can speculate (and I will!) that the ‘guy on the staff’ was Jim Boylen, since he seems like he actually works there and has some authority. It’d be an interesting wrinkle especially since Rondo and Boylen had a run-in a few weeks prior to the benching.
But there was more there from Rondo when it came to Head Coach Fred Hoiberg, saying in general that essentially a coach can make or break your season (citing James Harden and Mike D’Antoni in Houston, so you know Rondo pretty much delusional):
When I signed here, why I wanted to come here, it's a lot different than what I anticipated
[Hoiberg and I] speak. Cordial. Nothing much to say.
KC Johnson of the Tribune was there and had this to say about Rondo’s demeanor throughout all this
Rondo didn't say anything already posted to my feed in angry or mean-spirited fashion. Totally relaxed, having fun, tho bemused by benching.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 10, 2017
With so many teammates out against the Wizards, Rondo played off the bench for 27 minutes and had one of his better games of the season. Afterwards, he gave a pretty direct rebuke to Hoiberg’s assessment of him as a player.
For his part, Hoiberg said he “anticipates” that Rondo could find himself back in the rotation going forward. Hoiberg also, interestingly, contradicted Rondo’s words in saying he did talk to Rondo about the benching. Hoiberg also denied knowledge of any ‘save you from yourself’ comment.
I thought Cody Westerlund of 670theScore put it well:
Gar Forman quote in press release on hiring of Fred Hoiberg called him "great communicator." He hasn't communicated well w/ Noah, Rondo now— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 11, 2017
And I also find it interesting that one of the other veterans on the squad is decidedly on one side of this issue.
Taj Gibson on Rondo: "We're a much better team with him on the court."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 11, 2017
We’ll have to see how the potential return of Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler affects Rondo’s minutes. If he is to play against the Knicks on Thursday, you’d have to assume it’d be off the bench, so that’d mean less for Jerian Grant and Denzel Valentine.