ATLANTA -- Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been suspended for Game 2 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Atlanta Hawks for making contact with a game official, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson announced Monday.
Rondo chest-bumped referee Marc Davis with 41 seconds remaining in Sunday's 83-74 Game 1 loss at Philips Arena, earning his second technical and automatic ejection. Rondo, who earned both technicals while vehemently protesting a foul call against teammate Brandon Bass, said after the game that the bump was unintentional, but the league viewed it as otherwise.
"Obviously, from a competitive standpoint we are disappointed with the league's decision to suspend Rondo," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said in a statement released by the team. "He plays a valuable part in our team's success. We accept the punishment and will use it as a learning tool for our players."
This is Rondo's second referee-related suspension in three months. He was also suspended for two games in February after zipping a ball at an official.
The NBA rulebook states, "Any player or coach guilty of intentional physical contact with an official shall automatically be suspended without pay for one game. A fine and/or longer period of suspension will result if circumstances so dictate."
Appearing on ESPN Radio's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" on Monday, NBA commissioner David Stern said, "We have a hard and fast rule. Unless somebody trips you and sends you into him, nobody touches a referee. That's the proposition."