WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — Rajon Rondo said Thursday that Dwyane Wade “sold” a flagrant foul late in the season opener and denied that it was a “punk play,” as the Miami Heat guard claimed.
“I don’t think it was a hard foul,” Rondo said after practice on Thursday. “He sold it a little bit, and that’s basketball. They were up and they drove to the hole; I didn’t want to give up a layup. It’s as simple as that. I didn’t yank him down.”
Rondo was called for a flagrant foul in the final seconds of Miami’s 120-107 victory on Tuesday night when he grabbed Wade around the neck as he drove to the basket. Wade appeared ready to confront Rondo, but former Celtic Ray Allen eventually pulled him away.
Wade called it a “punk play.”
“We’re basketball players,” Wade said afterwards. “If you want to go do something else, then go do something else. Boxing and all those things, this is not it. We’re basketball players here. I was glad I was able to stop myself in that very moment and move on from it. We’ll see next time we play.”
Rondo denied that the foul was all that rough, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that when he played it might not even be a foul.
“I thought it was nondescript. I really did,” Rivers said. “It wasn’t that hard. So I think it’s much ado about nothing, personally. … I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. But I guess it is.”
Rivers also brought up a play in the 2011 playoffs when Wade took Rondo down and dislocated his elbow.
“All the dirty plays you’ve seen him play in the past … so that’s what it is,” Rondo said.
Rondo picked up a technical earlier in the game for complaining about a non-call when he thought Wade hooked him on the way to the basket. But he declined to comment on whether he gets fewer calls from the officials than more established stars.
“What are you, trying to get me fined?” he said. “I cannot talk about the refs.”
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The Boston Celtics are ready to put their loss to the defending NBA-champion Miami Heat behind and focus on the home opener against Milwaukee.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers says he didn’t think his team played very well in Tuesday’s season opener. Still, Boston scored 107 points while shooting just 52 percent from the floor.
The Celtics lost 120-107 to Miami on Tuesday on the same night the Heat raised their championship banner and received their rings. It was also their first game against former teammate Ray Allen, who had 19 points off the bench.
Paul Pierce says one goal for the season is to improve at home. The Celtics lost five of their first nine games in Boston before bouncing back to finish with a 24-9 home record.