Rajon Rondo won’t be the face of American diplomacy any time soon.
The NBA’s leading assist man was ejected from Sacramento’s 114-97 loss to Boston in Mexico City on Thursday after receiving back-to-back technical fouls from veteran referee Billy Kennedy. Mexico's capital city played host to the contest as part of the NBA's Global Games series.
With a little more than six minutes remaining in the third quarter and Boston leading 69-49, Cousins was called for a defensive foul on Jae Crowder. As the two teams lined up for the free throws, Rondo appeared to argue the call and was hit with his first technical foul by Kennedy. After assessing the technical, Kennedy took his position on the far side of the court, but Rondo slowly pursued him to continue the conversation.
Kennedy then seemed to warn Rondo to walk away with an outstretched hand, to no avail. As Darren Collison tried to separate Rondo and Kennedy, the official assessed the second technical foul and motioned for Rondo to hit the showers. That prompted Rondo to give chase a second time, leading Ben McLemore and Cousins to step in to defuse the tense situation.
Rondo departed with five points (on 2-for-6 shooting) and eight assists in 24 minutes. The early exit spoiled Rondo’s first game against the Celtics, his former team, as a member of the Kings. Prior to Thursday, Rondo hadn’t received a technical foul this season.
Rudy Gay paced Sacramento with 18 points (on 7-for-13 shooting) and seven rebounds. Cousins added 16 points and seven rebounds in a losing effort.
The Kings fell to 7-13 with their third loss in four games. The Celtics improved to 11-8 with their second straight win.