Western Notes: Rondo, Jazz, Lawson, Thunder

Referee Bill Kennedy revealed that he is homosexual in an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, and Rajon Rondo is drawing fire for the homophobic slur he directed at Kennedy during a game on December 3rd. The NBA suspended Rondo for one game and doesn’t plan to mete out additional punishment, notes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter), but the apology that Rondo offered in a pair of tweets struck a hollow tone, observe Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck and SB Nation’s Tom Ziller (All Twitter links). Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and GM Vlade Divac condemned Rondo’s use of the slur in a statement that the team released, and Rondo’s words aren’t exactly the most auspicious prelude to his free agency in the summer ahead, opines Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). See more from the Western Conference:

  • The Jazz are expected to be active in exploring trades when dozens of players across the league become eligible to be traded Tuesday, reports Jody Genessy of The Deseret News (Twitter links). The most likely scenario involves the team absorbing salary via its cap space, Genessy adds. Utah is more than $7MM under the cap.
  • Ty Lawson‘s game has responded well to Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff‘s decision to bench him upon taking over for Kevin McHale, as Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com details. “He was trying to so hard to do the right things, I think he was frustrating himself and he got to the point where he said ‘I’m just going to play’ and I think that’s where he is now,” Bickerstaff said in part. The more and more he plays and he’s relaxed, the more that his true talent will shine through. We know what he is, we know what he’s capable of and we just got to get him there.”
  • The Thunder have assigned Mitch McGary to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. It’s the fourth time the former 21st overall pick has gone to the D-League this season and the third time in the past week.
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