BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he's talked with point guard Rajon Rondo about the player's decision to not accompany the team to Sacramento last week, but said the team is handling the matter internally and Stevens stressed his goal is to simply move forward.
With the Celtics playing the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday, Rondo was not scheduled to play against the Kings as he eases his way back from ACL surgery. But rather than fly with the team, he remained in Los Angeles where the Boston Herald reported that he celebrated his 28th birthday with family and friends.
Rondo, who Stevens said informed of his decision to stay behind before the team departed, rejoined the Celtics in Utah and played in Monday's game against the Jazz.
"We’ve sat down and talked. We did that Monday," said Stevens. "In my mind, I’m moving forward. Then when [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] gets back in town, they can meet and go from there."
Ainge departed on a scouting trip before the team returned from a winless four-game road trip out west. He's expected to chat with Rondo about his Sacramento absence upon his return.
Stevens was asked if he thought Rondo should have accompanied the team to Sacramento.
"I think the biggest thing right now is for me to move forward and for us to move forward from that," said Stevens. "Obviously, it’s something that is a great question to ask, something that I’ve certainly spent a lot of time thinking about. But at the end of the day, I’ve passed that point."
For his part, Rondo downplayed the incident, suggesting it was being overblown in the media.
"I haven’t really read much about it. I heard a lot of comments," said Rondo. "Nobody knows the story, so [the media can] keep making up every story you guys possibly can."
So what is the story?
"It's my business,” said Rondo. “It's my choice."
Veteran Gerald Wallace said he had no problem with Rondo not accompanying the team knowing that he would not play in the second game of a back-to-back.
"It wasn’t a problem for me," said Wallace. "He doesn’t plan back-to-backs anyway. So I don’t see a big deal in it."