Isaiah Thomas has had quite the first couple of games in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. He returned to his All-Star form in his Laker debut, scoring 22 points and registering and six assists in Saturday's loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Things got a little more climatic and intense on Wednesday during the Lakers' road game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Thomas got into an altercation with Rajon Rondo, and things escalated to the point where both players received ejections:
Both Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo were ejected after an altercation on the floor.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 15, 2018
It's the first time the two have met since Rondo's comments about IT's tribute video in Boston. pic.twitter.com/uvTRQZ13gn
After the game, Thomas revealed what Rondo said to him, and what caused the confrontation to take place:
Isaiah Thomas said Rondo brought up the video tribute kerfuffle today when they went at it. He said Rondo hit him in the face 3 times without consequence before he reacted. Says he doesn’t know Rondo and doesn’t know why Rondo reacted to him the way he did.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) February 15, 2018
For those not aware, Thomas is referring to remarks made by Rondo earlier this year - when the latter said I.T. shouldn't have received a video tribute on the same night the Celtics retired Paul Pierce's number. That game took place on Sunday, when the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Boston 121-99. Thomas was traded to the Lakers three days earlier.
The Pelicans won the game, 139-117. Thomas had three points and two assists on the night, while Rondo had four points, and five assists. New Orleans moved to 31-26 on the season, and they're currently holding down one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference.
For Thomas, the past eight months haven't lacked drama. He was traded from the Celtics to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the gigantic Kyrie Irving blockbuster deal. During his brief stint in Cleveland, it was reported that Thomas called out teammate Kevin Love during a Cavs' meeting. Perhaps that was the main reason why the Cavaliers opted to trade him to the Lakers last week.
The NBA has yet to announce if there will be any fines or suspensions for Thomas or Rondo.Rondo was suspended one game by the Chicago Bulls in Dec. 2016 for "conduct detrimental to the team." Though Thomas was fined $20,000 for a clothesline hit on Andrew Wiggins, he has yet to be suspended in his NBA career.