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Isaiah Thomas doesn’t believe he deserved to get tossed from Wednesday’s game.
The Los Angeles Lakers point guard got into a heated exchange with Rajon Rondo after the New Orleans Pelicans floor general was hounding him on defense, and they were both ejected with 33 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The two time All-Star, who recently joined the Lakers via a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, said he doesn’t know what got into Rondo, but he was being overly physical and Thomas was just trying to defend himself.
“He was being too aggressive for whatever reason. And then he also hit me in my face three times. At some point, like as a human, if nobody is going to protect me, I’ve got to protect myself. That’s when I spoke up and got upset,” Thomas explained after the 139-117 loss, according to Lakers Nation’s Corey Hansford.
“I hope the NBA figures something out with that, because it was wrong for me to get ejected. All I want to do is hoop, man. I’m on a new team, I’m trying to get acclimated with my teammates. For me to get ejected for really saying nothing and trying to just protect myself, is not right.”
Rondo, who played for the Boston Celtics from 2006-14 and captured a championship with them, was still salty about plans for Thomas to get a tribute video from the team on the same night as Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement.
“He brought it up. I mean, for whatever reason he’s an upset guy about me. But it’s fine. I can’t control that,” IT said.
“He kept bringing the tribute up, when I was the one who shut the tribute down. I mean, I’m far past that. I’m on the Lakers, trying to figure out how to help this team win. For the things that happened today happening and me to get ejected, is uncalled for.”
Thomas, who finished with three points and two assists in five minutes of action in his second game with the Lakers, speculated his opponent was also harboring resentment because his Celtics beat Rondo’s Chicago Bulls in the playoffs last year.