If it wasn't already clear before Game 2's loss to the Houston Rockets, Rajon Rondo made it clear with his effort on the court that he's not interested in playing for the Dallas Mavericks long as Rick Carlisle remains coach.
Rondo was yanked from the game after only playing a disinterested 34 seconds in the second half. Rondo elected to ignore the media after the game and comment on his play.
The writing was on the wall in the first half as a little more than four minutes into the game, Rondo nonchalantly walked the ball up the floor, getting whistled for an absolutely ridiculous eight-second backcourt violation with the Rockets not even applying pressure. On the following possession, after committing the turnover, Rondo wandered aimlessly on defense to let Jason Terry hit a wide-open three and was immediately pulled from the game and replaced by J.J. Barea.
It was highly speculated that Rajon Rondo would sign with the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the trade to Dallas but has stated that he would consider re-signing with the Mavericks despite dispute between him and Rick Carlisle. Now that tune has changed and Rondo is giving the Mavericks an ulitmatum, either Carlisle stays or Rondo leaves in the off-season.
If that's the offer on the table set by Rajon Rondo then it's an easy choice for Dallas to make, Rick Carlisle will remain the head coach. Rick Carlisle is considered one of the best coaches in the NBA and the only coach to help deliver an NBA championship to the city of Dallas. He's done more with less than any other coach in the NBA and has a habit of getting the most productivity out of his players.
Rajon Rondo is a champion in his own right but he certainly hasn't played like it on a consistent basis with the Mavericks. While Rondo has shown flashes of his old self the last couple weeks of the regular season, he certainly hasn't shown it in these playoffs and has been at odds end with Rick Carlisle for much of his duration with the Mavs.
Rick Carlisle and Rajon Rondo are both highly intelligent minds on and off the court and both see the offense being ran a certain way, their own way. It was a reason why Carlisle and Jason Kidd intially got into arguments over certain plays, but Kidd never quit on the team much like it seems Rondo has now done. Carlisle let go of the reins with Kidd when he gained trust in him, and it seems as if that trust has never truly developed with Rondo.
Rondo has posted the worse plus-minus rating on the Mavs in the playoffs with an astonishing negative 25 in Game 1 and minus-11 in Game 2. He also posted the worst player rating in the regular season as well and his lack of a consistent jump shot has been a cog in the Mavericks offense and made it easier for teams to defend. Rondo doesn't seem to have the same athleticism that use to create nightmares for opposing defensive players, but that no longer seems to be the case and as a result has become more of a liability than anything else.
It's not like an off-season doesn't give Rick Carlisle and the Mavs enough time to work the kinks out with Rondo in the lineup, but it seems as if Rondo has no intentions on even getting that far if Carlisle remains at the helm.
The next question is whether or not Rajon Rondo will even start Game 3 or even see another minute the rest of this series. Carlisle is not the type of coach to babysit any player no matter who it may be, and he certainly isn't going to start now. This could very well be the end of the Rajon Rondo experiment in Dallas and that may be a good thing.