Rajon Rondo has a reputation as a high-maintenance player. The Sacramento Kings’ guard could play the media game, put on a fake smile and try to charm his way to some positive coverage. But that’s not Rondo’s style.

Share story


Image isn’t everything to Rondo

Rajon Rondo has a reputation as a high-maintenance player. The Sacramento Kings’ guard could play the media game, put on a fake smile and try to charm his way to some positive coverage.

But that’s not Rondo’s style. He is not about to try to use the media to change the opinions of those who have already crafted one of him.

“I don’t read papers, I don’t read articles, so it doesn’t make a difference,” the 29-year-old Rondo said. “People will believe anything they read, and that’s just the way the world is.”

Rondo, who ended last season with the Dallas Mavericks, was involved in controversy last week when he gave a deadpan, joking answer about his relationship with Kings coach George Karl.

“It’s not been going too well,” Rondo said. “We got into a couple of arguments the last couple of days.”

It became a national story, partly because Rondo’s reputation as difficult and ex-Sonics coach Karl’s past clashes with players made the scenario seem more realistic than laughable.

Rondo was asked if he felt the need to prove he is not a disruptive force.

“I don’t think that’s the case,” Rondo said of the perception. “You don’t hear that coming from my teammates. Everybody has an opinion.

“My family and people that are close to me, my teammates know what kind of teammate I am and that’s what it’s all about. That’s all that matters to me.”

• Cleveland forward Kevin Love had six points and four rebounds in his first game since a season-ending shoulder injury in the opening round of last season’s playoffs, but the Cavaliers remained winless in the exhibition season with an 87-81 loss to the host Toronto Raptors.

Superstar LeBron James didn’t play for Cleveland (0-6).

Love didn’t have to wait long to feel some contact during the game.

“First play, actually,” he said. “That was a good thing and a bad thing. It’s been tested a number of times in practice; I keep working on the strength. I’m sure there’ll be a few scares here and there, but that’s kind of mentally just getting over the hump a little bit. I feel great.”

• There is “a chance” Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant could be shut down for the rest of the exhibition season, coach Byron Scott said.

Bryant, who was injured Tuesday, still has “a little soreness” from a bruised knee, Scott said. Bryant hasn’t participated in the last three practices.


Djokovic wins 9th title of year

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-2, 6-4 in the Shanghai Masters final in China.

Djokovic earned his ninth title of the season, a week after he triumphed at the China Open in Beijing for the sixth time in six appearances.

He didn’t drop a set at either tournament and extended his winning streak to 17 matches, dating to his championship run at the U.S. Open in New York. He surpassed $16 million in prize money, a record for a season.

“I don’t want to get carried away by success,” Djokovic said, “because I want to be playing on this level for many more years to come.”

• Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland defeated Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-1, 6-2 to win the Tianjin Open title in China and clinch a spot in the WTA Finals in Singapore. Radwanska has 16 career WTA Tour titles.

• Jelena Jankovic of Serbia beat Angelique Kerber of Germany 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 to win the Hong Kong Open. Jankovic has 15 career titles.

Long-track speedskating

Boutiette is going strong at 45

KC Boutiette, 45, a former Tacoma resident, won the men’s mass-start title at the fall World Cup qualifier in Kearns, Utah.

Four-time Olympian Boutiette finished with 60 points, 14 more than runner-up Joey Mantia, in the event.

Olympic champion Shani Davis of Chicago matched the fastest 1,000-meter time in the world this season, finishing in 1 minute, 7.63 seconds.


Fighter is in critical condition

Prichard Colon was listed in critical condition after suffering a brain bleed from an injury during a bout Saturday in Fairfax, Va.

Colon, 23, underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain after his fight against Terrel Williams, said Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment.

Colon (16-1) was knocked down twice in the ninth round, the second time just before the bell by a right hand. In a bizarre sequence, he went back to his corner and the cornermen started taking off his gloves, believing it had been the 10th and final round. As Colon sat on his stool, the cornermen realized their mistake and began putting the gloves back on, but referee Joseph Cooper disqualified him.

Colon left the ring under his own power but became dizzy and nauseous in his dressing room.