BOSTON (CBS) — There is unquestionably no love lost between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, and that mutual distaste has manifested itself through star guards Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade several times before.
On Tuesday night, in the very first game of the 2012-13 season, Rondo and Wade wasted no time in getting back to their chippy ways.
Less than five minutes into the fourth quarter, with the Heat leading the Celtics by 13 points, Wade drove to the basket past Rondo and scored. Rondo complained to the official that Wade hooked him with his arm, and Rondo was assessed a technical foul for his demonstrative complaint.
Fast-forward to the final minute of the game, when Wade again drove past Rondo. On this drive, Rondo wrapped his left arm around the neck and shoulder area of Wade (you can see the video here), preventing him from getting to the basket. Rondo was given a Flagrant 1 for the foul, and nothing escalated beyond that.
Wade, however, wasn’t shy about his feelings toward the play.
“It was a punk play by him,” Wade said of Rondo. “The league will take care of it. He clotheslined me with two hands.”
Wade said he almost reacted but then thought better of it.
“I’ve got my kids watching, so I stopped,” Wade said. “I’m here to play basketball. That’s what we are, we’re basketball players. If you want to do something else, go do something else, boxing and all those other things.”
Rondo had little to say about the foul.
“I don’t have a response to that,” he said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. I know [Wade] has a voice. There’s nothing else to it.”
When Rondo was asked if Wade expressed his belief that it was a “punk play” to Rondo while on the court, Rondo said, “No, he didn’t say anything to my face.”
While Rondo didn’t offer much, his head coach said he didn’t think the play was violent.
“I don’t know what a flagrant is anymore,” Doc Rivers said, according to the Boston Herald. “He grabbed him around the shoulders, and as he turned — I would have been out of the league in two years. Our hand checks were harder. It’s late in the game, and officials rightly call it tight when you’re down. We can’t do that, but it’s not a big thing in this game and it shouldn’t be made one.”
Rondo and Wade have a history going back to the playoffs two seasons ago, when Wade dragged Rondo down to the court, resulting in Rondo dislocating his elbow (you can see that video here). He did return to that game, and he did manage to play the rest of the series with one arm, though it’s clear Rondo’s not ready to forgive. The two were also given matching technical fouls during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals last season.
And according to Wade, this little feud might not be over.
“We’ll see next time we play,” Wade said.