Rajon Rondo has been suspended one game after bumping a referee during the fourth quarter of the Boston Celtics' 83-74 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday. Mike Dowling first reported the suspension.
Rondo, upset about a loose ball foul call that went the other way, approached Marc Davis and lambasted him, resulting in a technical foul, with 0:41 to play in the game. As Davis walked towards the scorer's table, Rondo followed him and chest bumped him in the back, at which points Davis ejected him. Boston, which trailed 78-74 at the time, couldn't recover.
"Obviously I was upset about the call," Rondo said. "I said some words to Marc. I deserved the first tech. As I was walking, I thought he stopped. My momentum carried me into him. I even think I tripped on his foot. I didn't intentionally chest-bump him. But that's what it appears to be." (via WEEI)
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said that he would be surprised if Rondo was suspended.
"We always worry [about a suspension], but I would be surprised [if it happened]," Rivers said afterward. (via WEEI)
The league has a strict policy about making contact with officials, and commissioner David Stern said on ESPN Radio on Monday that he didn't believe that contact was unintentional.
"I don't want to pre-judge on what the recommendation is going to be," Stern told Colin Cowherd. "But as a fan, he obviously bumped him. And you know what happens with respect to that."
Added Stern: "We have a hard and fast rule. Unless somebody trips you and sends you into him, nobody touches a referee. That's the proposition." (via WEEI)
Rondo was also suspended two games earlier this season after he tossed a basketball at an official during the third quarter of the Celtics' game against the Detroit Pistons.
Rondo will be eligible to return for Game 3 of the series on Friday evening in Boston.
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