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2nd Intermission

Rajon Rondo says he was joking with official

WALTHAM -- While Kevin Garnett did not speak with the media Tuesday to address his latest dust-up with an opposing player (New York’s Carmelo Anthony), Rajon Rondo did talk about his one-game suspension for bumping official Rodney Mott during the third quarter of the Celtics’ 89-81 win Saturday over the Atlanta Hawks.

Mott did not assess Rondo a technical and the game continued, but Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry apparently alerted officials following the game with a video of the incident, showing Rondo running into Mott after the Celtics guard was called for an offensive foul.

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It was Rondo’s second suspension this season and fourth in 11 months. He missed the Celtics’ 102-96 victory over the New York Knicks Monday.

“The league thought it was a big deal,” Rondo said before the Celtics began practice Tuesday. “I don’t feel there was a need to have an investigation. I know Rodney, and that particular time with that play, I actually went up to him and I made a joke, he laughed, and in the midst, I did touch him and the league, I guess, reviewed it. The media blew it up, on ‘SportsCenter’ or whatever, and I served a one-game suspension.

“I thought Josh [Smith] had flopped. I told Rodney, ‘His body size and what he weighs [240] and look at me. There’s no way I could have made him go into the stands off of contact.’ He laughed, threw the ball in, and we got back on defense.”

Rondo was also suspended for not cooperating with a league investigation, according to the NBA’s press release.

“They did what they had to do, that’s the league,” Rondo said.

When asked about being what the league considers a “repeat offender” and not cooperating with an investigation, Rondo said sarcastically, “I’m a criminal. I go to court a lot. I’m not on trial or anything. That’s how it is when you’re dealing with the league and when you get into a little bit of trouble. I’m a repeat offender. I don’t know if I have two or three strikes, but it is what it is.

“I’ll learn the game, but I’m an emotional player, and in that aspect, I think I had a triple double at the time, we were up 10, and I wasn’t -- didn’t go over and yell at Rodney. I think even he said that in his statement, but the league put the hammer down and made the decision.”

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