Central Notes: Rondo, Smith, LeBron

Rajon Rondo was in street clothes during the Bulls‘ Monday night loss to the Blazers due to a one game suspension by the team resulting from a a “heated exchange” the point guard had with an assistant coach. Rondo’s teammates are ready to move on from the incident, with veteran guard Dwyane Wade telling Nick Friedell of ESPN.com that Rondo understands what he did wrong and that the team still has full confidence in the playmaker’s leadership. “Let’s play,” Wade said when asked what he told Rondo. “He’s going to have enough messages. Our job is to say, “Let’s go, let’s play.” We got to win the game [Tuesday]. This is about basketball. All those things, it’s not my job to stay on him about. He’s been disciplined, they’ve talked about it, he understands and we’ve moved on.

He’s going to have fresh legs,” Wade continued. “Whatever happened, the organization took care of it. As players, we support each other and back each other. It’s an emotional game and guys have emotional moments. [The team] handled it the way they thought was best. Now we move on.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • LeBron James has no desire to sit down with Knicks president Phil Jackson to discuss comments the executive made during a recent interview about the Cavs forward, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com relays. “Didn’t affect me, just know how much further we still have to go and how far we still have to go as African-Americans, even in the light of today,” James said about Jackson’s opinions. “For me, I’ve built my career on and off the floor on the utmost respect, and I’ve always given the utmost respect to everyone — all my peers, people that’s laid the path for me and laid the path for coaches, players, things of that nature. I’ve always given respect to them, and it’s always, like I told you before, it’s always shade thrown on me, so. It means we got a lot more work to do, myself and the team.
  • The Cavaliers received some good news regarding J.R. Smith, who exited Monday night’s contest against the Raptors after suffering a left knee injury in the first quarter. Smith underwent an MRI today that showed no damage and the guard’s status is considered day-to-day, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (via Twitter).
  • Bulls training camp cut and D-League affiliate player,D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, has been waived by the Windy City Bulls, Chris Reichert of The Step Back reports (Twitter link). The 23-year-old made six appearances for Windy City, averaging 3.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 11.1 minutes per outing while sporting a slash line of .269/.091/.600.
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