The NBA fined Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo $35,000 for his actions leading up to his ejection in their 130-127 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, the league announced on Saturday.
Rondo was ejected early in the fourth quarter of their matchup at Chesapeake Energy Arena after an incident with Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, in which Rondo could be seen kneeing Schroder in the groin. Rondo, while being held back by LeBron James, then confronted official Ed Malloy who gave him the Flagrant 2 foul — which prompted the ejection — swearing at him as he slowly left the court.
Rondo had eight points and four assists in 18 minutes before he was ejected, and shot 3-of-6 from the field.
Speaking ahead of their game on Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies, Rondo said that he felt Malloy was “disrespectful” when he pointed at him, and that he believes he was fined so much because of what he said back to Malloy as he walked off the court.
“I guess the saying ‘free speech’ doesn’t apply to everybody,” Rondo said, via Bill Oram of The Athletic.
“When you’re a four or five time felon, the judgement’s kind of harsher.”
The 33-year-old has played in just five games for the Lakers so far this season. He’s averaging 7.2 points and 5.6 assists off the bench in just more than 20 minutes per contest.
The Lakers picked up their sixth straight win on Friday night — including their second consecutive against the Thunder — behind a 33-point, 11-rebound night from Anthony Davis, who went 4-of-7 from the 3-point line. James added 23 points and had 14 assists.
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