Opposite of what many of you probably think, this beef did NOT start during the month of October 2018, when Rondo and CP3 got into an incident where some vulgar words were exchanged that turned into a heated scuffle quickly. James Harden was fouled as he was driving to the lane by Brandon Ingram and the officials said the foul was on the ground. The Rockets were very upset that it was not a shooting foul, as Chris Paul and James Harden barked at the officials. After the play, Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo are at each other’s throats and it appears that in slow motion Rondo intended to spit on CP3. Some people think it was because his mouthpiece, but Chris most certainly didn’t. He gauged at Rondo’s eyes and a few punches were thrown that didn’t really land. This was most certainly not a surprise to Paul Pierce, who had this to say about the incident, “I am not surprised at all,” who played with both Rondo and Paul during his career. “For you people out there who don’t know, Rondo and Chris Paul have never liked each other. This dates back to maybe Rondo’s rookie year or second year. They’ve had heated exchanges over the course of their [careers]. I’m surprised that this is their first fight actually because throughout Rondo’s time in the league, him and Chris Paul have never gotten along.”
This Started in 2008
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said the CP3-Rondo beef goes back to 2008 when the two wanted spots on the Team USA Olympic roster. That was the “Redeem Team”, a reference to the fact that the United States came away with embarrassing Bronze Medals during the 2004 Summer Olympics and the 2006 FIBA World Championship. Kobe Bryant was named the team captain and Mike Krzyzewski was named the head coach of the 2008 team. The same team that featured Lebron, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Jason Kidd, D-Wade… and Paul, in basically the prime of their careers. About a decade ago, Windhorst had an appearance on The Hoopshype Podcast and said Paul and Rondo hadn’t liked each other since CP3 beat him out for a guard spot on the 2008 Summer Olympics Roster. That team went on to win Olympic gold and bring honor back to USA basketball in international play. Being on the “Redeem Team” was both a massive goal for Rondo and Paul. At this point, Paul had established himself as the better pure point guard and scorer, and was honestly just a better player than Rondo at the time. BUT, Rondo has something it looks like CP3 may never get, a championship. With that being said, being asked to represent your country with such an elite core of players is the ultimate honor. “The guys really wanted to be on that team. Chris Paul was established as one of the best point guards in the league… but there was some real competition… He beat Rondo out and Rondo got cut, and Rondo was not happy about it because he had just won a championship.”
Again in 2009
The two stars had technical fouls that led to an exchange at the end of a Nov. 1, 2009 matchup between the C’s and Pelicans. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, who wrote at Yahoo! at the time, Rondo told Paul he wished he could be him, that “I’ve got a ring and you’re never gonna win one.” That is some harsh words to say for a regular season game in November, but Rondo is still right a decade later. He still doesn’t have a ring which causes the two to envy each other. CP3 wishes he had a ring, Rondo wishes he made Team USA. After the argument, Rondo told reporters to not ask him about CP3, “now, tomorrow, or any other time.” Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who coached both players, was not surprised at all either about the beef still going on.