WALTHAM — Rajon Rondo said Thursday that Dwyane Wade “sold” a flagrant foul late in the season opener and denied that it was a “punk play,” as the Miami Heat guard claimed.
“I don’t think it was a hard foul,” Rondo said after practice on Thursday. “He sold it a little bit, and that’s basketball. They were up and they drove to the hole; I didn’t want to give up a layup. It’s as simple as that. I didn’t yank him down.”
Rondo was called for a flagrant foul in the final seconds of Miami’s 120-107 victory on Tuesday night when he grabbed Wade around the neck as he drove to the basket. Wade appeared ready to confront Rondo, but former Celtic Ray Allen eventually pulled him away.
Wade called it a “punk play.”
“We’re basketball players,” Wade said afterwards. “If you want to go do something else, then go do something else. Boxing and all those things, this is not it. We’re basketball players here. I was glad I was able to stop myself in that very moment and move on from it. We’ll see next time we play.”
Rondo denied that the foul was all that rough, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that when he played it might not even be a foul.
“I thought it was nondescript. I really did,” Rivers said. “It wasn’t that hard. So I think it’s much ado about nothing, personally. ... I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. But I guess it is.”
Rivers also brought up a play in the 2011 playoffs when Wade took Rondo down and dislocated his elbow.
“All the dirty plays you’ve seen him play in the past ... so that’s what it is,” Rondo said.
Rondo picked up a technical earlier in the game for complaining about a non-call when he thought Wade hooked him on the way to the basket. But he declined to comment on whether he gets fewer calls from the officials than more established stars.
“What are you, trying to get me fined?” he said. “I cannot talk about the refs.”
The Celtics play the Milwaukee Bucks in their home opener on Friday night.