Western Notes: Rondo, Hornacek, Randle, Simmons

Rajon Rondo said he has “no regrets” about his brief, tumultuous Mavericks tenure, calling Mark Cuban a “great guy” an interview with Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. Rondo said he and Rick Carlisle both tried their best to get on same page but couldn’t and insisted a back injury was the reason he didn’t play after Game 2 of the team’s playoff series against the Rockets last year, even though MacMahon reported that the injury was a ruse. Rondo admitted after MacMahon pressed him that he and the Mavs organization “had some talks” regarding his departure. The ESPN scribe asked the point guard whether he felt as though it perhaps would have hurt the team if he stuck around for the remainder of the playoff series.

“I think it ended up hurting anyway,” Rondo said. “But me just sticking around, I didn’t want any more tension between myself and Rick and all the media attention that it was getting. People were seeing stuff on the floor, like making up plays that I took off, and it’s like, some plays I might take off to this day. I mean, I was tired, so you just never know. I just wanted to get out of there and just lay low and had a talk with my agent. But that’s water under the bridge.”

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Suns higher-ups are fond of Jeff Hornacek and don’t want to fire him, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com hears, but the situation in Phoenix is worsening, Windhorst writes. Still, while coaching changes around the league don’t appear to have a measurable positive effect, it doesn’t seem as though teams will be any less hesitant to make bench bosses pay for poor on-court results, the ESPN scribe contends amid a broader piece.
  • Byron Scott‘s handling of the young players on the Lakers has drawn criticism, and his relationship with Julius Randle has been up-and-down, with the coach on Monday imploring the 2014 No. 7 overall pick to “grow up,” as Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles.com details.
  • The most significant offseason acquisition for the Spurs admits he didn’t know much about Jonathon Simmons, perhaps the most anonymous of the new Spurs, when camp began, but LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of the NBA are learning just what the rookie can do, notes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Simmons had a career-high 18 points Monday. “[The Spurs] always try to find guys they can fit into the system, and he’s no exception to that,” Aldridge said. “He’s the energy guy we need, and he’s gotten better every game.”

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