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Lawrence Frank wasn’t upset by Rajon Rondo’s late-game assist chasing

Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics has a little assist streak going that you may have heard about. Rondo extended his streak of having 10 or more assists in a game to 34 consecutive games in Sunday’s loss to the Pistons. It wasn’t easy, though, as Rondo had to play much longer than Boston’s other starters in a blowout in order to continue that streak, which trails only Magic Johnson (46 games) and John Stockton (37 games) for the longest streaks of all time.

Some teams would get mad at that sort of thing — stat padding in garbage time is generally frowned upon by the so-called unwritten rules of sport (although it’s occasionally hilarious, like with Ricky Davis and JaVale McGee, for example). Via the Associated Press, though, Pistons coach Lawrence Frank wasn’t too upset with Rondo’s ‘efforts:’

Frank laughed off the issue.

”I guess the basketball gods were on his side tonight,” he said. ”I wasn’t worried. I just know he’s a great basketball player.”

I’m glad Frank didn’t act like a blowhard about it publicly like some coaches would have. Rondo and the Celtics certainly could’ve been more tactful about blatantly trying to chase a statistical record in an already-decided game, but I also admire Rondo’s bluntness in his postgame comments, discussing how much getting that record would mean to him.

31 Comments

  • Nov 19, 201212:00 pm
    by 19880607

    Reply

    Great passing is one thing I enjoy watching in basketball more than any other aspect. Intentionally missing a layup in order to pad one’s rebounding stats in a blowout is beyond ridiculous but staying in a decided game late in order to set up easy shots for some end-of-benchers is actually quite commendable. I wish more players at all levels would chase assist records. It makes the game more fun to watch and more fun to play. I hope Rondo gets the record.

    • Nov 19, 201212:16 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I don’t know about commendable. But I wouldn’t say it is a bad thing. Statistical milestones give fans something to root for. And ultimately that’s what pro sports are about–giving fans things to root for. Mostly, those things are championships. But individual awards and records are fun too.

      Even if I know the Pistons get the same draft pick either way, I’d rather they go 26-56 and Drummond win ROY than they go 34-48 and Drummond not win ROY. I’d also give up a few wins to see Monroe get an all-star berth.

      So Rondo not costing his team a win but violating some unwritten rules to record chase is totally fine, although, I am rooting against him getting the award. But only because he is a Celtic.

    • Nov 19, 201212:36 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I love Rondo, but I’m partially hoping he doesn’t get it just because Magic keeping it is just another milestone for Michigan to claim.

      • Nov 19, 20121:54 pm
        by 19880607

        Reply

        I actually think Rondo breaking the record would enhance Magic’s legacy because it would get people talking about Magic and showing his career highlights. I get sick of hearing about how pure point guards are a thing of the past. However, I do get the Michigan thing. I just think that no matter how many of his records get broken, it will be nearly impossible for anyone to surpass Magic’s influence on the game and the state will always be able to claim that.

  • Nov 19, 201212:06 pm
    by DasMark

    Reply

    Frank was the lead assistant for Doc a few seasons ago, he has a report with those players. It doesn’t surprise that he blew it off, what difference does it make to him when his team just blew them out by 20? 

  • Nov 19, 201212:26 pm
    by Gareth Masters

    Reply

    The problem is that if he does get the streak it will be subconsciously asterisked because of this type of thing – can I be the first to say “I bet neither Magic nor Stockton intentionally padded their assist totals like this”

    Here’s hoping he puts up an agonising 9 in the streak-tying game haha

    (PS I must just add I actually love watching RR play in general, one of the NBA’s unique players) 

    • Nov 19, 201212:38 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Totally agree on Rondo. He’s one of my favorites. Not enough guys play as mad as he does these days. Beyond how unique he is, I just like that he always seems to be in a grumpy mood towards everyone (sometimes including his own teammates) on the court.

      • Nov 19, 201212:42 pm
        by RyanK

        Reply

        Would you take Rondo, Rose, or Paul as you point guard?  I’d take Rondo…he’s one of my favorite players to watch.  It seems like the game moves very slowly for him.

        • Nov 19, 201212:45 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Paul, Rondo, Rose, in that order.

          I agree on the game moving slowly for him thing, but I think it moves slowly for Paul too, and he has a few of things I love about Rondo — great passing, defense and attitude — with a better all-around offensive game to boot. Rondo might be a bit more durable than Paul though.

  • Nov 19, 201212:39 pm
    by RyanK

    Reply

    The only streak that matters is the one that was padded.  Rondo’s doesn’t matter, as this game was definitely padding.  Were Magic’s or Stockon’s games padded?  I don’t know…but if they were they don’t matter either. 
     
    I like admiring great stats, but only when they are achieved in the context of normal play within a team concept. 

  • Nov 19, 20123:27 pm
    by Brandow

    Reply

    rondo is a tremendous pass first player, it just makes me mad how like 4-5 years ago boston offered us rondo and ray allen and they wanted stuckey price and hamilton and joe D was stupid enough to decline that trade so we would all become rondo fans if he were a piston

    • Nov 19, 20123:57 pm
      by jordan

      Reply

      that was just a rumor, turned out to not be a serious offer.

      • Nov 19, 201210:53 pm
        by Brandow

        Reply

        then how come it waz all over espn

  • Nov 19, 20123:54 pm
    by jamesjones_det

    Reply

    Call it what you like buy Magic and John didn’t need timeouts and time in a lost game to get their records.
     
    Rondo is a good player but his name doesn’t belong in the same category as those two.

    • Nov 19, 20123:54 pm
      by jamesjones_det

      Reply

      grrr… buy = but

  • Nov 19, 20123:57 pm
    by jamesjones_det

    Reply

    Also maybe i’m remembering wrong but didn’t the NBA take away a triple double from someone a couple of years ago for pulling a similar stunt?
     
    This one might be harder to prove but I’m just sayin.

  • Nov 19, 20123:58 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    Does anyone else remember when the one dude from Orlando was trying to hard to get a triple double … They kept calling timeouts and fouling … Orlando was winning big …I think he even missed a shot on purpose to get his rebounds up…so Doug collins on the last play of the pull the guys out and told them to let him have…one of best piston moments

  • Nov 19, 20125:09 pm
    by Manny

    Reply

    He better not have cared.  Does anyone remember the pistons streak of holding opponents to below 70 pts?  It was Frank who told his Nets team to hurry up and score in a pointless loss in order to break that streak.  I will never forget how childish that was.

    • Nov 19, 20129:20 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Subs in garbage time always push the pace and try to hurry up and score. They need to make the most of their limited opportunities to get stats. They’re playing for their next contracts.

      • Nov 19, 201210:15 pm
        by Manny

        Reply

        You should not respond if you didn’t see what happened.  You obviously didn’t.  His subs were just going to run the clock out, until Frank intervened.  Go watch the game again before you respond,

  • Nov 19, 201211:36 pm
    by Guy

    Reply

    I remember the NJ Nets called several timeouts to intentionally ruin the Pistons record streak of holding opponents under 70 pts. And the amazing thing is it still took a fortunate call to do it, if I recall correctly. Its one thing to intentionally keep your own streak going in loser mode, but NJ took sore loser mode to a new level. I only hope it was before Frank now that I think about it. I think it was. 

  • Nov 19, 201211:48 pm
    by Guy

    Reply

    Check out this link. And wow was NJ cocky. Not only did they not apologize, they tried to spin like it was the Pistons fault for having 1 starter still in the game… They sounded like Children. I’m glad Kidd never won a championship and has no shot in NY. 

    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2004-03-19/sports/18255948_1_nets-pistons-lawrence-frank 

    • Nov 20, 201212:08 am
      by mixmasta

      Reply

      BREAKING NEWS: Jason Kidd just won a Championship with Dallas Mavericks.

  • Nov 20, 20129:11 am
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    If Rondo’s streak was related to points I’d have more of a problem with his padded numbers — but assists  by their definition implies unselfishness (and frankly Jason Kidd padded his assist numbers for years.)

    • Nov 20, 201210:45 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Assists can be just as selfish. Playing for stats instead of to up your team’s odds of winning is pretty much the definition of selfish play–regardless of which stats you are going for. Don’t believe me? Read anything out there on Wilt’s 67-68 season.

  • Nov 20, 20129:51 am
    by Manny

    Reply

    I remember the Nets being so happy they broke our streak in Garbage Time.  They cheered at the end like they won the game.  Laurence Frank and the Nets were so pathetic back then.

  • Nov 20, 201211:19 am
    by DoctorDave

    Reply

    If any of the Pistons didn’t like it, there is an easy solution: play defense. Tight defense with hard fouls. That would have been all it would have taken.
    Also, while I’d have to go back and look, I’d be willing to guess that both Magic and Stockton had 10+ assists in occasional (or perhaps even rare) garbage minutes during their streaks. You don’t win that many close games with that many assists in a row.

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