Never has being a “dirty” player appeared to be so literal.
Rajon Rondo has strenuously denied spitting at and on Chris Paul, which the Rockets point guard alleged began the punch-filled fireworks in LeBron James’ home debut at Staples Center on Saturday night. Yet, a new angle appears to make Rondo’s spitting-mad defense hold less water.
New footage is going around social media that, ESPN reported, has been sent to the league office as it determines discipline from the brawl. The video appears to conclusively show saliva coming out of Rondo’s mouth, Paul flinching and putting his hand to his face, before he shoved Rondo’s face, to which Rondo replied with a punch.
Rondo, according to ESPN, now will have to convince the NBA that the saliva-sharing was accidental, which is a difficult case to make, especially because he had told the Lakers that the spitting assertion was nonsense. Part of his defense reportedly will include the fact he had a mouthguard in, which gave him less control of his spit.
“That’s unacceptable,” Carmelo Anthony, who was a near bystander during the altercation, told reporters. “You don’t do that to nobody — in sports, on the street. That’s blatant disrespect. You don’t do that. That’s unacceptable. … You don’t even see that in the streets, man. I don’t know what else to say about that.”
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