WALTHAM — Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he has cleared the air with point guard Rajon Rondo about his absence from the team trip to Sacramento to remain in Los Angeles and attend a birthday celebration in his honor.
Ainge would not reveal whether Rondo had been disciplined or fined but said the situation has been resolved. Rondo, who was not supposed to play against the Kings, did not travel to Sacramento with his teammates, instead meeting the team in Salt Lake City on Sunday. Rondo has played in the past two games and told reporters his plans were his “business. Not yours.”
“It was between Rondo and I and I learned some things that I didn’t know and we had a lot conversation about it and I’m satisfied with it,” he told the Globe. “He learned from it, too. Let’s move on.”
When asked if the incident hurt Rondo’s perception throughout the NBA, Ainge said: “I have no idea. I don’t think so. It certainly shouldn’t. It doesn’t change my perception of him at all.”
Ainge would not say Rondo was at fault for missing the game or whether it was a misunderstanding but he defended his point guard.
“Whether it was a mistake or whether it wasn’t a mistake, I think is in question,” he said. “Second of all, if those that want to assume that it was a mistake, leaders make mistakes. All leaders make mistakes. That’s just part of it. That doesn’t disqualify them as leaders. Leaders learn, too.”
Rondo did not speak before the team’s practice Friday. In two games since missing the trip, he is averaging 20 points, 10.5 assists and is 14-for-27 shooting. The Celtics play their next back-to-back set on March 11 and March 12 at Indiana and home to the New York Knicks. It is uncertain whether Rondo would rest his surgically repaired right knee against New York.