Pop takes aim at Rondo, irks Celtics fans


It was one of the most memorable moments in this year’s NBA playoffs. Boston Celtics’ Rajon Rondo suffered a dislocated elbow versus the Miami Heat in the East semifinals. Rondo left the court only to make a return to the court minutes later to help Boston to a win.

San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili suffered a hyperextended right elbow in the Spurs’ final game of the season versus the Phoenix Suns but unlike Rondo, he did not return to the game, sat out game one of the series against the Memphis Grizzlies, and came back to the court in game two.

Many compared Rondo’s quick return to the court to the infamous Willis Reed moment but don’t tell that to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich who thinks otherwise:

“It’s really been hard to watch the playoffs and have them make Rondo out like Willis Reed,”

“It’s like, Manu couldn’t even play the first game (against Memphis), and we probably shouldn’t have played him again. He went out there and worked through it, and you didn’t hear any of that kind of crap.”

“It’s like Rondo is the next coming of Willis Reed, the thing he did and the character he showed,” Popovich said. “Maybe he did show character and he was tough and all that, but it is no different than what Manu did. That just kind of angers me on a selfish level, so to speak.”

Although I can appreciate Pop backing up Manu, I have to disagree with him here. Rondo DISLOCATED his elbow yet came back to action minutes later. That speaks volumes and the comparison to Reed is sound.

Oh and in case you were wondering how Celtics fans reacted to Pop’s remarks about Rondo, check out a few fan comments left at Reds Army:

  • C’mon Pop, you’re better than this. I understand that you are still frustrated because your #1 seeded Spurs embarrassed themselves in the first round of the playoffs. But there’s no need to take a shot at Rajon Rondo.
  • wow…wouldn’t expect Pop to be so douchey.
  • I’ve always had major respect for Gregg Pop, one of my favorites besides Doc, & George Karl, but he is very ignorant for saying the above… He’s one of the coaches that always says the right thing, clearly he didnt this time, & Im not saying this because Rondo is a Celtic, but you cant downplay someone who dislocates their elbow, & literally coming back to play 15-20 minutes later, clearly its very different from Manu’s cause not only did Manu only hyperextend his elbow, he sat for almost a week, so its very different Pop, come on now, you’re better than that…

Tiime for you to chime in Spurs fans. What do you have to say about Pop’s comments?

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