December 14, 2015
The Sacramento Kings currently own the fifth-worst record in the NBA, which would give the Sixers an additional 8.8 percent chance at landing Ben Simmons the first overall pick in next year’s draft. Pick swap, FTW.
That’s about it for the Philly tie-in, but I imagine this story is going to be a pretty big deal.
Here’s why: Mercurial Kings point guard Rajon Rondo was ejected from a game against the Boston Celtics on December 3rd by referee Bill Kennedy. Over a week later, the NBA suspended Rondo one game for "directing a derogatory and offensive term towards a game official and not leaving the court in a timely manner."
Today, Kennedy revealed to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he is gay. Now, take a look at what Rondo said to him after getting tossed from the day:
In the game officials’ report used as part of the NBA's investigation – which includes details provided to Yahoo Sports from National Basketball Referee's Association general counsel Lee Seham – Kennedy and fellow referee Ben Taylor described Rondo's post-ejection diatribe as including the statements: "You're a mother------- faggot. … You're a f------ faggot, Billy."
That’s, um, not great. Kennedy is a highly regarded referee, somebody who has multiple Finals games on his résumé. While I wasn’t aware of this story, it seems that Havertown native/disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy revealed Kennedy’s sexual orientation a few years ago:
It's no secret on the staff that Bill Kennedy is a homosexual… I don't have any ill will towards gays or lesbians, but it was no secret that he's a homosexual. It was known around the league, it was obvious during a game Doc Rivers questioned his sexual orientation and I think that has stuck with Kennedy over the years and he has no love for Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics.
The point guard for many years in Boston under Doc Rivers? Rajon Rondo.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann