WALTHAM — You figured Rajon Rondo wouldn’t return from his two-game suspension contrite or apologetic, and he didn’t. Rondo spoke to the media Tuesday for the first time since being suspended for fighting with Brooklyn’s Kris Humphries last Wednesday, and he offered little remorse.
Rondo is eligible to return Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, The Celtics went 1-1 in his absence.
“I wanted to be out there with my teammates but, obviously, a two-game suspension … like I said, I was glued in front of the TV,” said Rondo, who told reporters he went to Mexico during the break. “Hopefully I don’t feel too winded tomorrow. I think I’ve been off for about a week now. We’ll see tomorrow.”
In their first game without Rondo, the Celtics beat the Portland Trail Blazers handily, 96-78, Friday, but then they lost, 91-88, Saturday to the Milwaukee Bucks in a game in which they scored the first 17 points.
“We moved the ball very well without me,” said Rondo. “Guys played great. Guys stepped up. Courtney [Lee] played well. We got off to a great start in Milwaukee but our defense slipped as far as pick-and-roll defense. But other than that, the guys did a great job.”
When asked if there was a lesson to be learned from his third suspension in nine months, he flatly said: “No.”
Rondo did say he missed being around his teammates.
“It was difficult,” he said, “I love being around the guys. I love coming into practice and being around them on the team plane, but I had to miss that for a couple of days. But other than that, everything is back to normal.”
When asked if he was more motivated than before, he said, “No. I want to get better. I want to run off eight or nine games straight. It starts in practice and it starts with staying in the game. So I just want to go out there and give it all for my teammates and get some wins.
“We’ve got to get this show on the road. We’ve got to have a great December. November is behind us and we didn’t play well. It’s a new month and I’m ready to go.”
Rondo’s ejection late in the first half of that game also meant the end of his streak of games with 10 or more assists at 37 straight — tied for second in NBA history with John Stockton.
“It’s over with,” he said. “It may be [a big deal] once I get 40 or 50, but right now it’s a record. Records are meant to be broken. I think I was second, tied with John Stockton, so that’s a great accomplishment but it’s about wins and losses.”