Rondo tells his side of the story

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Rondo tells his side of the story

Today at Celtics practice, Rajon Rondo spoke for the first time since being suspended for last night's game, and his explanation of Atlanta BumpGate 2.0 actually makes a ton of sense.

According to Rondo, the whole thing was a joke. He's friendly with referee Rodney Mott, and was just messing around. "At the time of the bump, I had a triple double, we were up 10, I wasn't angry," he told reporters. Rondo's claim is supported by the video, which clearly shows Mott laughing as he walks away:

Rondo's playful intentions also make more sense when you remember that the guy who benefited from Mott's awful call was Josh Smith aka Rondo's high school roommate and one of his best friends in the league.

You know, the more we hear about this story, the more it seems like Rondo's biggest problem was how he handled the league's "investigation." We don't know exactly what he did, but he certainly pissed off a few people, and that seems avoidable. Why not just tell the league: "Listen, I get it. I can't make contact with the referees. But this was just a joke. Rodney is my friend. Why don't you ask him why he didn't call a 'T'? Ask him if he felt threatened."

Or who knows. Maybe he did. Maybe he tried to explain himself, and the league just wasn't having it. "How can you be so obtuse?!" Rondo screamed. I'm guessing.

But either way, with today's media session, the latest chapter of Atlanta BumpGate is officially over. And unless Danny Ferry has another trick up his sleeve, let's hope it was the finale.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Olynyk hasn’t decided if he’ll have shoulder surgery

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Olynyk hasn’t decided if he’ll have shoulder surgery

WALTHAM, Mass. – Kelly Olynyk will consult with additional doctors before deciding whether to have offseason surgery on his right shoulder.
 
The injury kept him out for 12 games in the regular season and he re-aggravated it in Boston’s first-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.
 
“I felt like it was improving,” Olynyk said following his exit interview on Friday. “I had games where it would feel good, games it wouldn’t. It would get hit every game and kind of pinch, set you back. It was tough. It never felt 100 percent the whole time; it never felt 80. It’s tough going down that stretch of games. You want to be at your best when your best is needed.”
 
In the regular season, Olynyk averaged 10 points per game along with 4.1 rebounds while shooting 40.5 percent on 3s.
 
But in the six game series against the Hawks (he missed two games with the shoulder injury), the 7-foot center only scored just two points on 1-for-9 shooting.
 
As for surgery, Olynyk – like most of us – would much rather not have surgery if possible.
 
“It’s always an option when you have an injury of certain degrees,” Olynyk said. “If you can make sure it’s healthy without it, then it’s healthy without it.”
 
Depending on whether he has surgery will potentially impact his availability for the start of next season.
 
Regardless, Olynyk will do what he always does in the offseason — focus on ways to get better.
 
As he addressed the media, he had papers in his hand that included his stats from this season as well as other information pertinent to his offseason.
 
“Stuff to improve” was how Olynyk described the papers.
 
And as he began to elaborate, he grinned, “stuff mostly to improve.”
 
Like a cleaner bill of health, something that would bode well for both Olynyk and the Celtics.
 

Sullinger: It would be very hard to walk away from Celtics

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Sullinger: It would be very hard to walk away from Celtics

BOSTON - It’s easy to look at the Celtics - Hawks series and say that Jared Sullinger has no place on the Boston Celtics.

But that would mean ignoring an entire regular season in which Sullinger put together perhaps the best season of his career.

The C’s center averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds, and believe it or not was one of the more consistent and dependable players on the team, especially when it came to big men.

Having thought to be out of the rotation completely to begin the year, Sullinger ended up starting 73 of the 81 games he played, both career highs.

There were some weight issues, and that just might be the case for Sullinger for the rest of his career as he’s just a guy with a big frame. It may have caught up to him a bit towards the end of the season and into the playoffs, but more than anything else the Hawks just proved to be a bad matchup for him.

If Boston could have advanced to play the Cavs, history proves that Sullinger would have been an integral part in taking Kevin Love out of the game.

But it didn’t end that way for the Celtics, who were eliminated in six games. Sullinger was ineffective through those six games, and replaced by Jonas Jerebko as the C’s went small a few games into the series. Sullinger averaged just 13.5 minutes, 5.2 points, and 4.5 rebounds in the postseason.

Was it his last with the Celtics? Sullinger is a restricted free agent this summer, but it remains to be seen how interested the Celtics are in having him back. He made it c

“You don’t know what’s gonna happen so I really can’t speak upon the future, but if I leave it’s gonna be tough walking away from the great guys we have in this locker room,” Sullinger said Thursday after his team was eliminated. “I’m gonna take a couple of days just to reflect on this season and how far we came as a unit and just let everything take care of itself.”

Sullinger made it clear, much like his fellow free-agent teammate Evan Turner, that he’d like to be back with the Celtics.

“For sure,” Sullinger said. “When you spend four seasons in the same area and then play for the greatest organization of all time, you see the likes of Bill Russell sitting courtside, Kevin McHale, Bill Walton and all these people that cheer, it’s very hard to walk away from this situation.”

At just 24 years old, Sullinger has a lot of NBA ahead of him provided he can stay ahead of the curve. He knows he still has work to do.

“It was OK. I’ve got to do a lot of things better, but it was OK,” Sullinger said of his season. “My window is getting smaller and smaller of constantly talking about I need to improve, I need to improve.”