Rajon Rondo doesn't usually give you much material to work with as a writer. His answers are brief, often sarcastic, and not all that useful when you're trying to write an in-depth, full length feature. That wasn't the case on Sunday night, as Rondo provided the line of the evening.
Rondo was asked by ESPN's sideline reporter Doris Burke at halftime what holes the Boston Celtics were exploiting in the Miami Heat's defense, to which he replied: "Them complaining and crying to the referees in transition." Not only is Rondo a great player, he's also right on the money.
You don't have to be a basketball guru to notice that the officiating in this series has been, well, a little spotty. OK, a lot spotty. It has been downright terrible at some points, and the poor officiating was on full display in Games 1 and 2 of the series, both of which ended in victories for Miami.
The tables were turned in Games 3 and 4, both of which were in Boston. The officials called a fairly even game in Friday night's 101-91 win for the Celtics, and despite multiple negative chants directed at the officials from the TD Garden crowd, they called another even game in Sunday's 93-91 overtime win in Game 4, evening the series. Miami was tagged for 28 fouls, Boston for 30.
Of course, that wasn't how Heat star LeBron James saw it. James was a favorite target of the officials Sunday, drawing six whistles. In layman's terms, he fouled out. I'll let that sink in for a second. LeBron, the king of the basketball, fouled out for the first time with the Miami Heat.
The foul in question came as James was running up the court on an offensive possession. James attempted to post up on Celtics swingman Mickael Pietrus, but he fell over Pietrus and both hit the deck. Before you knew it, the whistle was blown, the referee signaled "foul, six" to the scorers table, and 18,000-plus inside TD Garden let out a triumphant roar. Yet, LeBron saw it differently.
"I don't think I fouled him," James said at his locker after the game. "I don't think it was a foul."
(Personally, I do not think James' sixth and final foul was a good call, but that's beside the point.)
King James didn't stop there, though. Instead of accepting and moving on, James decided it would be best to tell the world how things should be. First and foremost, fouling out isn't his style.
"I don't foul out," said James, who still led the game with 29 points. "If I'm going to foul out, that sixth foul, I wish I would have earned it and it had actually been a foul on me. Whatever."
Whatever, LeBron. Whatever.
Think he's done? Not yet. James had more choice words about the foul calls down the strech.
"It's very tough," said LeBron. "I thought a few of my fouls were, I don't know. I don't know. I got a foul coming off a pen-down where I got cut off. They called an offensive foul on (Mickael) Pietrus. I got a double foul in the paint and then I got another foul posting up in transition. Yep (it's tough to deal with that). It's very difficult because I know how to play the game of basketball and I don't need an advantage of holding somebody or pushing somebody down, but whatever, we lost."
Boo hoo, LeBron. Boo hoo.
Once again, LeBron showed his true colors with his postgame remarks. Instead of making the veteran play here (you know, not blaming the officiating or just saying "no comment"), James spouted off. You see, real leaders don't do that. Do you think Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen or Doc Rivers would do that? Maybe at one point in their careers, but certainly not now.
They know better, and so should LeBron.
Complaining isn't a good color on anyone, let alone multi-millionaire athletes -- ones that usually get all of the calls, anyway. When the calls were heaped against the Celtics, they didn't blame the officiating. Sure, guys like Rondo made some remarks, but nothing out of line. Not like LeBron.
So complain all you want, King James. After all, you already have everything you want, anyway.
A big contract, big-time sponsors, MVP awards, championships ... oh, right. Scratch that. Keep this 'leadership' up, you'll have not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven.
You'll have none.