Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
Rajon Rondo showed that he has his teammates' backs, but also that he still needs to mature following a brawl he sparked on Wednesday evening.
BOSTON - We knew a lot of thing about Rajon Rondo before Wednesday.
For starters, we knew that he has an attitude, he doesn't much care for long and meaningful conversations with the media, and he wasn't a fan of that Kendrick Perkins trade. Oh, and we knew that he's a pretty darn good point guard, too.
Now, after what went down Wednesday night, we know a little bit more.
Rondo was at the center of a brawl between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets that started when he shoved Kris Humphries following a hard foul on Kevin Garnett. Punches were thrown, and the fight spilled into the crowd.
Once things cooled down and the referees took a look at things, Rondo -- along with Humphries and Gerald Wallace -- were thrown out. With the ejection went the Celtics' chance of winning (although they were down 51-35 at the time, anyway, so there probably wasn't much hope), as well as Rondo's assist streak, which had reached 37 games and was nine away from Magic Johnson's record.
Boston would go on to lose, 95-83, but that was far from the focal point.
Sure, losing is bad, but... how long were the Celtics going to lose Rondo for?
The league will spend Thursday morning looking at the fight from all angles and assessing how long they will suspend Rondo (and possibly others) for and how much they'll fine him. Notice I didn't say if, because there's absolutely zero chance that Rondo walks away from this occurrence without punishment.
"It is what it is, man," Garnett said about the thought of losing Rondo.
How Belichickian of him.
While we wait to learn how long the suspension will be, let's ponder another interesting question: What did we learn about Rondo from his actions?
First, we have to look at the root of the altercation. Why did Rondo go after Humphries in the first place? None of us were out there on the court, so we don't know if Humphries said anything personal about Rondo, but from the replays alone, it looked like Rondo was reacting to a hard foul on his good buddy Garnett. In short, he was protecting his teammate. That's not so bad.
But, in a way, it is.
It's one thing to want to have your teammates back, but it's another to rob your team of its best player -- and leader -- by letting your emotions get the better of you. Rondo is the Celtics' best player, far and away, and without him, they simply aren't as good. Rondo has to know that and be able to keep his cool.
Perhaps he should take some lessons from the Zen Master Phil Jackson?
The fact that Rondo wants to have his teammates back is admirable, but he has to be smarter than that. That's not always easy to do, as Celtics captain Paul Pierce pointed out, but it's a quality that a leader absolutely must have.
Rondo has done great things over the seven years that he's been here, and with time on his side, the sky's the limit. The only thing holding him back is himself.
Maybe he'll finally realize that while he spends a week sitting on the bench.
Gethin Coolbaugh is the Editor of SB Nation Boston. Twitter: @GethinCoolbaugh.