Well, that’s it. It’s done. Over. Finished.
Rajon Rondo will not play another game in a Dallas Mavericks uniform – at least that’s the impression head coach Rick Carlisle gave Wednesday.
“It sure sounds that way,” The Ticket in Dallas host Bob Sturm said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Rick Carlisle said it that way, and I was pretty shocked to hear him actually answer a question that directly. But yeah, we’re pretty sure he’s done in a Maverick uniform. He was not interested in a lot of follow-up questions on that front, but whether he meant this series or forever, I think we all know it means forever at least as long as – well, I’m not even going to put any qualifiers on it. He’s done in a Mavericks uniform. There’s no scenario anyone could see that would bring him back from here. It’s a really weird day because they (originally said) it’s a back issue. But then once he met the media, he at least offered that one answer (where he said), ‘No, I don’t see (him again in a Mavs uniform).’ That’s pretty cut and dry right there. That’s not what you say when there’s an injury.”
A four-time All-Star, Rondo was benched in a Game 2 loss to Houston on Tuesday, thus ending – at least we think – what has been a contentious relationship seemingly since Rondo was acquired in December.
The question must now be asked: Did Mark Cuban want this trade to go down? Rick Carlisle? Donnie Nelson?
“We kind of follow this pattern over and over and over again with the Cuban Mavs because Cuban and Donnie Nelson have been joined at the hip basically since Dirk (Nowitzki) was drafted,” Sturm said. “And so people ask: Is it Donnie? Is it Cuban? Is it Rick Carlisle? Because Rick Carlisle has as much power as most head coaches in this league. So when they make a move – whether it’s bringing in Lamar Odom or making a move for Rondo or any of these other countless moves they’ve made – heck, even going back to when they traded for Jason Kidd. I remember even back then people were saying Avery Johnson didn’t want this trade but Cuban wanted it.
“So it’s tough to say,” Sturm continued. “Did Cuban just grab the steering wheel? I don’t think so. I can’t imagine he would overrule a guy like Carlisle who’s got a ring, who’s got all that respect. And Cuban’s just really not that kind of guy, honestly. I know he’s portrayed that way, but they generally get in the room and get a consensus and get out of there.”
After that consensus is made, though, anything can happen.
“Is Carlisle abrasive enough that he’s going to butt heads with every player he has that has a certain alpha male personality?” Sturm asked. “Yeah, of course. That’s Rick Carlisle. He’s Bill Parcells with a whistle. He’s ready to go at it with any player who shows any sort of resistance. It’s tough to say if we go back to the night of the decision if they were all 100 percent on-board. But there’s no doubt ever since, Rondo doesn’t like Carlisle’s style, and Carlisle doesn’t like Rondo’s style. It’s taken on a life of its own for sure.”