Getting thrown out of a playoff game is dumb. Getting thrown out of a playoff game with only 40 seconds remaining and your team down by four is really dumb. Getting thrown out of a playoff game with only 40 seconds remaining and your team down by four because you chest-bumped a referee is just about the stupidest thing a basketball player can do.
And yet that’s exactly what Rajon Rondo did in the Boston Celtics’ eventual Game 1 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday afternoon.
Frustrated about a call that came a nanosecond earlier, Rondo reacted like this to a foul called by Marc Davis:
Predictably, the Celtics star was immediately tossed, and now his Game 2 future is in serious doubt.
Since the bump took place, countless reporters and analysts have tried to determine what the intent behind the move was. Some (read: Celtics fans) point to Rondo tripping beforehand, and say that the whole incident was completely and totally unintentional. Others (read: rational people) note that Rondo quite clearly regained his footing before he threw his chest into Davis. Moreover, who throws their chest forward when they’re in the process of falling?
In the end, intent may not even matter. The NBA has very strict guidelines as they apply to physically assaulting the officials, and Rondo obviously violated each every rule in the book when he intentionally or intentionally bumped Davis.