Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo—who will play his third game of the 2013-14 season against the Miami Heat Tuesday following his return from ACL surgery—said he doesn't like the Heat or anyone else he plays against on the court.
Rajon Rondo on playing against the Heat: "It's not a rivalry but I still don't like those guys. I don't really like anyone I play against."— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 20, 2014
Needless to say, Rondo has gained a reputation in NBA circles for being, well, misunderstood.
It's been well documented that Rondo and former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers didn't always see eye to eye. In fact, according to Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops, Rivers' desire to leave Boston in favor of joining the Los Angeles Clippers may have been caused, in part, by his ornery floor general.
"It isn’t just that he doesn’t want to be a part of a rebuilding situation; it is because he has an intense dislike for point guard Rajon Rondo," Sheridan wrote.
Of course, it shouldn't be surprising that Rondo would say he doesn't really like anyone he plays against because he's gotten into quite a few fracases during his NBA career.
He once got into a shoving match with retired guard Rafer Alston, formerly of the Houston Rockets, before a single second had ticked off the game clock:
In the 2009 NBA playoffs against the Chicago Bulls, he almost got into a full-blown fist fight with Kirk Hinrich:
You're more likely to remember Rondo escalating an altercation with former Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries:
That brouhaha might be somewhat awkward now, because Humphries and Rondo are now teammates in Boston.
If nothing else, at least the NBA community knows Rondo is willing to speak his mind. He's a fiery competitor out on the court, and sometimes that fire lashes out at opponents.
Say what you will about Rondo. Whether you think he's quirky, unusual or downright weird, at least know that he's passionate about the game.