Rondo on explanation for benching: ‘I’ve never heard that before in my life’

Rajon Rondo has heard plenty from coaches over the years — and probably more than he’d like to hear from Rick Carlisle — but this week was a new one on him.

Rondo, benched by coach Fred Hoiberg for the past five games including his own bobblehead night, said the explanation he got from another member of the coaching staff is that the Bulls were “saving me from myself”.

“Save me from myself? I’ve never heard that before in my life,” Rondo told reporters before Tuesday’s game at Washington.

Rajon Rondo: not a fan of platitudes.

Rondo said Hoiberg hasn’t talked to him and added that he’d been trying to stay in shape by playing pickup games at a middle school.

(God, why couldn’t we all have a Rondo on our team back in middle school?)

“You’re only as good as your coach thinks you are. That’s a big part of each individual’s success in the NBA,” Rondo said. “You look at James Harden and the year he’s having. [Houston Rockets coach Mike] D’Antoni turned over the keys to him and he’s having his best year ever with the right personnel around him. Certain guys got an opportunity to shine and play without restraint and certain guys will rise to the occasion. And some won’t.”

Rondo, who signed a two-year contract to be the Bulls’ point guard, hasn’t been doing much to save Hoiberg’s job, shooting a career-low 36.9 percent. But he provided a spark Tuesday with 12 points, six assists and three steals as Chicago almost won at Washington despite missing Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Nikola Mirotic.

Chicago is Rondo’s fourth team in three seasons, after a nine-year career (and a NBA title) in Boston. If this doesn’t work out, then what?