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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Mavericks PG Rajon Rondo benched after verbal exchange with coach 02.25.15 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Knicks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Clippers at Rockets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Spurs at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UMass at Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m. (NESN Plus)
College basketball: UConn at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Virginia at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: VCU at Richmond, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Central Florida at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Tulane at Tulsa, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Marquette at Butler, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Duke at Virginia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Baylor at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Florida State at Miami, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Freso State at Wyoming, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington at UCLA, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oregon at California, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Penguins at Capitals, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Monaco at Arsenal, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


Rajon Rondo‘s honeymoon in Dallas appears to be over.

The former Celtic, who has a history of run-ins with coaches and teammates, had a profanity-laced exchange with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle during a third-quarter timeout and then was stuck on the bench the rest of the night as his team rallied for a 99-92 victory Tuesday night over the visiting Raptors.

The incident started early in the third quarter. With the Mavs trailing by nine, Rondo dribbled the ball past midcourt as Carlisle appeared to call for a play only to be brushed off by his point guard. The coach then abruptly called a timeout and the two argued as the team returned to the bench. Carlise would only say that they had a “difference of opinion.” As for why Rondo did not return to the game, Carlisle said: “Because I’m the coach and that’s the decision I made at that time.”

Added Carlisle: “I thought it worked out well. The other guys stepped up and we were able to win.”

Rondo, who finished with four points, four assists, two turnovers and three fouls, reportedly has been frustrated with his lack of play-calling responsibilities. He did not speak after the game.

Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 18 points, said: “Stuff like that is never good. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. It’s about how the team responds.”

Owner Mark Cuban played down the issue, saying: “It’s an emotional game and sometimes emotions come out. It’s happened many times in the past and will happen many more in the future.”

Carlisle indicated he doesn’t plan to change his rotation for the future, implying the Rondo will start Wednesday night’s game against the Eastern Conference-leading Hawks.

Said Carlisle: “That’s what we brought him here for.”

— Keith Olbermann, no stranger to controversy for his behavior, was suspended by ESPN for insulting Penn State students on Twitter.

Olbermann responded to a tweet from a Penn State alumnus about students raising more than $13 million to fight pediatric cancer by writing that Penn State students are “pitiful,” and that their fundraising “doesn’t change the school’s reputation.”

He eventually apologized, tweeting: I was stupid and childish and way less mature than the students there who did such a great fundraising job.

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Read More: Keith Olbermann, rajon rondo, Rick Carlisle, Roger Goodell
Mavericks PG Rajon Rondo to miss at least 3 games following facial injury 02.02.15 at 1:17 pm ET
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Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo will miss at least three games after suffering a nasal fracture and an orbital fracture in his left eye in Dallas’ Saturday night game against the Magic.

Less than two minutes into the game, Rondo was accidentally kneed by teammate Richard Jefferson.

“Hopefully, he has a quick and speedy recovery,” Jefferson said. “Luckily we have the All-Star break not far away, so hopefully that will give him some more time to get right. He’s a tough guy.”

Rondo was traded by the Celtics on Dec. 19 after months of tension in Boston. Since arriving in Dallas following the trade, Rondo has missed only one game.

Rondo will miss games against Minnesota, Golden State and Sacramento, and will be tested over the next few days to determine if he will need to miss more time.

It is unclear who will replace Rondo in his absence. The top options appear to be Devin Harris, J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton.

“We’ve just got to make it work with the guys that we have available in these situations, and we will,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “This is part of the challenge of an NBA season.”

Read More: celtics, Dallas Mavericks, rajon rondo,
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 3: Celtics trade Rajon Rondo to Mavericks 12.30.14 at 4:29 pm ET
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Over the final days of the year, will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 3: Celtics trade Rajon Rondo to Mavericks. To read other stories in this series, click here.

The rumors began to swirl quickly one night, and he was out of Boston by the next.

After eight-plus seasons with the Celtics, point guard Rajon Rondo was traded to the Mavericks with rookie Dwight Powell in exchange for Brandon Wright, Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder and two draft picks — a 2015 first-rounder and a 2016 second-round selection.

The Celtics said in a statement after the trade they were appreciative of what Rondo did during his time in Boston.

“We would like to thank Rajon for everything that he has done for the Celtics organization and the success we have experienced during his tenure with us,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said.

“We would not have won Banner 17 without Rajon and will always consider him one of our most valuable Celtics, both on the court and in the community working with kids,” Celtics managing partners Wyc Grousbeck, Irv Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca and Robert Epstein said. “We will always cherish the time he was here.”

The trade finally happened on a late December day, though the first discussions about Rondo leaving the C’s came a year earlier. The Celtics limped to a 25-57 record in 2013-14, and many thought Boston would unload its top player. But Rondo was sidelined for most of the year because of a torn ACL from the season prior, and he was limited to just 30 games. A trade would have to wait.

With one year remaining on his contract, the rumors brewed throughout the summer before the 2014-15 season that Rondo would be moved elsewhere. Reports said Rondo would be everywhere from Sacramento to Houston before the season started.

Rondo said that he couldn’t focus too much on all of the trade speculation. It was just part of the game.

“I don’t have too many feelings involved in this business,” Rondo said. “I’ve played my heart out for the game, but business is business. I can be here today, gone tomorrow. You never know. For me to get bent out of shape, or to feel threatened by the Celtics drafting a point guard, it means nothing.”

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Read More: Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, Jameer Nelson, rajon rondo
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2013, No. 11: Rajon Rondo suffers season-ending ACL injury 12.22.13 at 9:04 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, will count down the top 13 stories of 2013 in Boston sports. This is No.11: Rajon Rondo suffers season-ending ACL injury. To see the previous entries, click here.

When the Celtics fell to the Hawks, 123-111, in double-overtime on Jan. 25, 2013, it represented a heartbreaking loss for a team desperate for a victory. The loss dropped the C’s three games below .500 for the second time in the 2012-13 season, and it marked their sixth straight defeat, their longest losing streak since they lost 18 in a row during their horrendous 2007 campaign.

Unbeknownst to the C’s, they’€™d also lost arguably their best player, a loss that would set off a massive rebuilding process in Boston, and the eventual removal of their championship-winning coach. Rajon Rondo, a Celtic since 2007 and the starting point guard of the 2008 team that won the Larry O’€™Brien Trophy, suffered a torn ACL during the game, an injury that would force him to miss the rest of the 2012-13 season and at least the first two months of the 2013-14 campaign.

The severity of Rondo’€™s injury was revealed both to Boston’€™s players and a national audience in the middle of the team’€™s second straight double-overtime game, a 100-98 win over the Heat on Jan. 27.

“It was shocking, frustrating,” Rondo said. “I wanted to play against the Heat that day, Sunday, and I thought I was playing. But maybe 30 minutes on the clock I did my ritual, my routine, I got in the shower and something was telling me this just didn’t feel right.”

Before his injury, Rondo averaged career highs in points (13.7), rebounds (5.6) and minutes (37.4) and dished out 11.1 assists per game, which would have placed him second in the NBA in that stat.

“Obviously the Rondo news is tough,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said after the Miami game. “I knew before the game, but I didn’t tell anyone. Obviously it was pretty emotional.”

Forward Kevin Garnett, one of Rondo’€™s closest friends on the team, expressed his disappointment as well.

“It was a big blow to everybody in here, me included,” Garnett said. “Man, that hurt. It’s tough. We had a tough game, came in, and he told the whole team in the locker room. It’s tough, tough on everybody.

“[Rondo is] becoming the heart and soul of this team. He’s coming into his own. Had some bumps in the road, but we’re just trying to be supportive for him.”

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Read More: Boston Sports Stories of the Year 2013, Danny Ainge, doc rivers, kevin garnett
LEEInks List: Devastating injuries to Boston athletes in past decade 02.12.13 at 11:51 am ET
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It’s been a rough few weeks for the Celtics. First it was Rajon Rondo going down with a season-ending ACL tear. Then Jared Sullinger was lost for the season with a back issue that will require surgery. Now, Leandro Barbosa appears to have suffered a serious knee injury in Monday night’s loss to the Bobcats that ended Boston’s seven-game winning streak.

Where do the C’s go from here? The team can take one of two paths. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge could stick with the team he has minus Rondo, Sullinger and Barbosa, maybe make a couple of small upgrades before the trade deadline, and hope for an unlikely long playoff run. Some are pushing for Ainge to “blow up” the team, make a significant trade or two (possibly involving career-long Celtic Paul Pierce or the emotional team leader Kevin Garnett) and look toward the organization’s future. This might lead to the team missing out on the postseason for the first time since the 2006-07 season (the year before the C’s acquired Garnett and Ray Allen).

Whatever Ainge, Doc Rivers and the organization decide to do, it seems that these injuries — especially to the All-Star Rondo — are a crushing blow to the team’s already slim chances at a deep playoff run.

This certainly isn’t the only time a Boston team has been bitten bad by the injury bug. With that in mind, here are 10 of the most devastating injuries affecting Boston sports teams in the last 10 years.

10. Patriots, 2005 — Rodney Harrison suffers season-ending knee injury

By 2005, Harrison was a 12-year NFL veteran, slightly old and injury-prone. In a Week 3 matchup vs. the Steelers, the safety tore his ACL, MCL and PCL and was done for the season. To add to that, offensive lineman Matt Light also was lost for the season during the same game. Harrison was the team’s veteran leader in the secondary and his absence was costly. The Patriots lost to the Broncos in the AFC divisional round that postseason.

9. Red Sox, 2010 — Jacoby Ellsbury misses majority of season with multiple issues

Injuries decimated the Red Sox at a historic pace in 2010, as 19 players combined for 24 stints on the disabled list, and many of them were key players on the roster. Ellsbury had three of those 24 stints. In April, Ellsbury was placed on the 15-day DL after colliding with third baseman Adrian Beltre and injuring his ribs. Ellsbury came back at the end of May but re-injured the ribs and went back on the disabled list. Again, Ellsbury rejoined the Red Sox in the beginning of August, but after a week and a half, Ellsbury was done for the season.

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Read More: Jacoby Ellsbury, kevin garnett, rajon rondo, Rodney Harrison
Top Stories of 2012, No. 5: Celtics burned by Heat in Eastern Conference finals 12.29.12 at 7:55 pm ET
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Over the final week of 2012, will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 5: the Celtics‘ loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination
No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from Celtics
No. 6: Tim Thomas’ political controversy and sabbatical

The Celtics were one victory away from advancing to the NBA finals. But what stood in the way, LeBron James and the Miami Heat, turned out to be more than the Big Three and the rest of the Celtics could handle.

A 101-88 defeat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals put an abrupt end to a playoff run that looked like it had legs after a comeback season from the Celtics, who were under .500 at the All-Star break of a lockout-shortened season.

The C’€™s battled injury issues all season. Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox had season-ending heart ailments. Jermaine O’Neal had his season end early, and Avery Bradley missed the Heat series. Even as the playoffs began, a sprained MCL slowed down Paul Pierce and bone spurs kept Ray Allen off the floor.

After finishing first in the Atlantic Division at 39-27, the Celtics took down the Hawks in six games in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They went on to get by the 76ers in a seven-game series and line things up for a big series with the Heat.

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Read More: 2012 Stories of the Year, Brandon Bass, Chris Bosh, doc rivers
Top Stories of 2011, No. 8: Celtics’ playoff loss to Heat 12.24.11 at 12:00 pm ET
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For the final 10 days of 2011, will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. Our next entry in the countdown is No. 8: The Celtics‘ playoff loss to the Heat.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NBA lockout
No. 9: NFL lockout

Even before the start of the 2010-11 NBA season, Doc Rivers knew that there was one team the Celtics were going to have to face if they were to put together another championship run. When the Heat formed their own Big Three with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, it was evident that Boston and the new superteam on South Beach would end up in a postseason showdown at some point.

So it was no surprise that after sweeping the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics were preparing to face the Heat win what many called the most anticipated second-round matchup in NBA history.

‘€œWe assumed when they put this team together, at some point if we want to put another banner up then we’€™ll probably have to go through them,’€ Rivers said of the Heat days before the series began.

The Celtics were 3-1 against Miami in the regular season, but all three wins came before the All-Star break, when Boston was 40-14, tied with the Heat atop the Eastern conference standings. After the All-Star break, the Celtics were just 16-12, dropping to third in the Eastern conference, while the Bulls and Heat rose to the top to secure the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively.

Many attributed Boston’s poor play in the second half the season to the trade of Kendrick Perkins. The menacing center was traded to the Thunder along with guard Nate Robinson on Feb. 24 in exchange for center Nenad Kristic, young forward Jeff Green and a 2012 first-round pick.

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Read More: doc rivers, kevin garnett, Paul Pierce, rajon rondo
Top Stories of 2011, No. 10: NBA lockout 12.22.11 at 5:16 pm ET
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For the final 10 days of 2011, will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. Our first entry in the countdown is No. 10: The NBA lockout.

After a summer of doubt, NBA commissioner David Stern went from Grinch to Santa when he delivered the gift of a 2011-12 NBA season. Basketball fans worldwide can rejoice on Christmas Day when they get to see their beloved league back in action, even if the season is shortened.

The lockout started July 1, as owners and players disagreed on terms of a new collective bargaining agreement. Primarily, the disagreement centered on who would get the majority of the league’s income. There was more to the CBA than that, of course, but the fact that the owners wanted to recapture more of the income pie left the players up in arms.

Over the course of the summer, negotiations were held between the leagues executives and the NBA players union, led by Billy Hunter, who oversaw the union’s litigation against the league during the 1998 NBA lockout.

With the experienced Hunter at the helm and Lakers guard Derek Fisher in charge of the players, the NBA went into a stalemate all summer. With neither the owners nor players budging on their terms and the season right around the corner, Stern made the move on October to cancel the first two weeks of the season, a blow to revenue for players and owners alike.

Stern went on to cancel the first quarter of the season when the players union made its first major move of the lockout by filing two anti-trust lawsuits against the owners.

On Thanksgiving, the two sides finally broke down and agreed to a new deal. According to Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, common sense prevailed.

“The general concept was this is regrettable to have this lockout,” he said during Wednesday’s appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show. “If there is a deal, we might as well just go ahead and get to it. If there isn’€™t, that would be very disappointing.”

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Read More: Danny Ainge, David Stern, Jeff Green, rajon rondo
Top 10 of 2011: Boston Athletes of the Year at 5:10 pm ET
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Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was an obvious choice for WEEI’s 2011 Sportsman of the Year. With the veteran leading the team to its first Stanley Cup title since 1972 after a standout regular season, he stood above all other candidates.

That being the case, plenty of other Boston athletes deserve praise for memorable 2011 seasons in which records were broken, awards were won and individual performances were etched in fans’ memories. So, we present our list of the Top 10 Boston Athletes of 2011.

10. Keegan Bradley, PGA

A Vermont native who graduated from Hopkinton High School in Massachusetts, Bradley burst onto the scene in 2011 with his shocking victory at the PGA Championship, leading to his being named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. Bradley beat Jason Dufner in a playoff at the Atlanta Athletic Club on Aug. 14 and became only the third man to win a major on his first try.

9. Geoffrey Mutai, Boston Marathon

Sure, it’s only of passing interest to many Boston sports fans, but the best individual performance of 2011 might have been Mutai’s victory in Boston on April 18. The 29-year-old Kenyan not only shattered the Boston Marathon course record by almost three minutes, he ran the fastest marathon in history, blazing to the tape in 2:03:02. Mutai would go to win the New York City Marathon in November, also setting a course record there.

8. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox

The Red Sox’ biggest offseason acquisition came to town with high expectations, and he did not disappoint. Gonzalez was a force throughout the season, abusing the Green Monster like he’€™d been hitting at Fenway his entire life and reminding Red Sox fans of the value of having a strong defensive presence at first base. Aside from home runs (27), he posted career highs in almost every other major offensive statistic, finishing the season with a league-best 213 hits, a .338 average, a .410 on-base percentage, a .548 slugging percentage and 117 RBIs. He received a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger for his efforts.

7. Rajon Rondo, Celtics

He might not be part of the Big Three, but Rondo is becoming the driving force for the Celtics offense and defense. That was evident last season, when the All-Star and NBA All-Defensive first-teamer averaged a double-double with 10.6 points and a career-high 11.2 assists a game while averaging 37.2 minutes (also a career high). Rondo was spectacular when it mattered, recording a triple-double (including a franchise-record 20 assists) in a Game 3 victory over the Knicks in the playoff’s opening round. In the second round against the Heat, he dislocated his left elbow during Game 3 but dramatically returned to the game and, barely using his injured left arm, managed to spark the C’s to their only victory of the series.

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Read More: adrain gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Luke Kuechly, rajon rondo
Report: Chris Paul’s agent never asked for trade to Knicks 12.02.11 at 10:18 am ET
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Ever since the players and the owners came to a tentative agreement to end the NBA lockout, Hornets point guard Chris Paul has been at the center of numerous trade rumors. Some have speculated that New Orleans will deal him to the Knicks, teaming him up with Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Other rumors have him being traded to the Celtics for Rajon Rondo.

On Thursday, Yahoo! Sports released a report that said Paul’s agent told Hornets officials that his client will not ink a contract extension with the team and wishes to be traded to the Knicks. But according to the New Orleans newspaper The Times Picayune, neither Paul nor his agent have requested a trade.

‘€œIt is just rumors; you can’€™t control it,’€™’€™ Paul said. ‘€œIt’€™s always going to happen, and it’€™s part of the game. I’€™m just happy to be back with my team.’€™’€™

Paul is in the final year of his contract with New Orleans. The Hornets will try to sign Paul to a contract extension, but according to The Times Picayune and Yahoo! Sports, the team has entertained trade offers from other teams to ensure that it gets some sort of compensation for Paul leaving rather than letting him enter free agency at the end of the season.

While the Yahoo! Sports report says that Paul wishes to be traded to the Knicks, it also details how New York does not have the trade assets to obtain Paul from the Hornets. Much of the speculation surrounding Paul going to the Knicks has been fueled by the fact that Paul and Anthony are good friends and spent time together over the summer.

Read More: Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, rajon rondo