Rajon Rondo: 'Back to normal now'

DALLAS -- Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo declared himself ready to move on after serving a one-game suspension that stemmed from a heated dispute with coach Rick Carlisle.

"Everything is back to normal now," Rondo told reporters after Friday's practice, the first time he publicly addressed the incident.

Rondo and Carlisle got in a profane shouting match over play-calling responsibilities with 8:10 remaining in the third quarter of Tuesday's win over the Toronto Raptors. It started after Rondo ignored a play-call from Carlisle, prompting the coach to call a timeout, storm out on the court and shout at the point guard.

Rondo responded by shouting back at Carlisle, and the argument continued for most of the timeout, with assistant coach Jamahl Mosley stepping in front of Rondo to prevent him from getting in Carlisle's face. Rondo did not play the final 20:10, as the Mavs rallied from a nine-point deficit to win by seven.

Sources told ESPNDallas.com that Rondo and Carlisle had an even more heated exchange in the locker room after the game, and the Mavs announced his suspension the next afternoon.

"I just got built-up frustration," said Rondo, who has had a couple of long individual meetings with Carlisle since their blowup. "I take a lot of the blame for what I've been doing on the court, but just a little frustrated. The most important thing is communication with Coach. I've talked to a lot of the coaches, I've talked to a lot of staff members.

"Coach and I, when I first got here, we were talking a lot and watching film after every game. He's backed off a little bit with the addition of Amar'e [Stoudemire], trying to help get him up to speed. Our communication was great at first. Not that it wasn't so great, but it's just that we weren't communicating enough. That shouldn't be the case the rest of the season."

Rondo, a four-time All-Star who arrived in Dallas on Dec. 18 as the featured player in a blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics, has a reputation for being difficult to coach. He frequently butted heads with Doc Rivers in Boston, but the Celtics won a title and advanced to another NBA Finals during their time together.

"I've been in this situation before," Rondo said, chuckling. "Everyone's personality is different. The personality and the DNA is different.

"I don't think this is a problem at all. We lost a game [Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks], which hurt us seeding-wise, but we have to continue to move forward. I spoke with pretty much everyone in the organization, and everyone is on the same page."

Rondo declined to discuss how play-calling responsibilities would be handled going forward. Carlisle has handled the vast majority of play-calling, which bothered Rondo, a nine-year veteran known for his basketball intelligence.

Carlisle, who stressed the importance of Rondo to the Mavs after the suspension was announced Wednesday, said he is done discussing the incident with Rondo.

"I know that you guys need to ask him a couple of questions, but I'm done talking about it," Carlisle said. "Our other players are done talking about it. It's over. In terms of NBA time, it's light-years ago."

Rondo, who has averaged 9.0 points, 6.2 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 25 games with the Mavs, will return to Dallas' starting lineup for Saturday night's home game against the Brooklyn Nets.

"I'm going to do what's best for the team and play my heart out for these next 22, 23 games that we have left and make a run in the playoffs," said Rondo, a free agent this summer. "I think we have a great chance to win a championship. That's my main focus. I'm going to continue to work to get better and do what's best to lead this team."