An innocuous midseason game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers quickly devolved into chaos last night (Feb. 14), with multiple players ejected. At the center of the fracas, were Pelicans point guard Rajon Rondo and newly-acquired Lakers point man Isaiah Thomas. A report by ESPN provided most of the information used in this article.

Rondo appeared to be in Thomas' face all night, and by all night I mean the majority of the first quarter before both players were ejected from the game. The two constantly exchanged words and minor bumps before the referee stepped in and issued double technical fouls to each player and ended their respective nights.

Without much of a history between the two players, it was hard to see why they were both so riled up so early in the game. Their time spent separately as members of the Boston Celtics might shed a little bit of light on the hidden tension.

Tribute Ceremony

Thomas was at the heart of some recent controversy regarding his time spent in Boston with the Celtics. He was a fan favorite and helped lead the team to the Eastern Conference Finals before being traded this past summer. Thomas' return to Boston was being billed as a moment to honor the point guard for his contributions during his time with the team. A video tribute was planned but scrapped when it was revealed that Thomas would not be playing in the game due to his recovery from a hip injury.

The tribute was planned again on Thomas' next expected return to town. However, this was also scheduled to be Paul Pierce night, as the franchise player was having his jersey retired to the rafters. Pierce did not want to share the night and Thomas agreed he did not want a video tribute any longer. To further muddy the situation, Thomas ended up being traded from Cleveland to Los Angeles prior to Pierce night anyway.

Rondo annoyed

Rajon Rondo was asked earlier in the season what he thought about a tribute to Thomas, a question that irked the former Celtic. Rondo replied in a straightforward manner that conference title appearances don't mean much and in a city like Boston, only champions deserve to be remembered and honored. Rondo won a title with Boston during the 2008 season.

Those in attendance during the game could audibly hear Rondo barking about the tribute and titles as he went at Thomas. Though he played it cool when talking to reporters afterward, it was obvious that Thomas was bothered by the manner of trash talk that Rondo was using.Whether or not it was just on-court talk, it is obvious how Rondo views his time in Boston. Winning a title for a team that has such a storied history is absolutely the high mark of his career and it seems like part of him wishes he was still a member of the team.