With the final cut for the USA team looming, Rajon Rondo was worried about being cut by Mike Krzyzewski. So Rajon made the final cut easier on the Coach K (which was speculated to be between Eric Gordon and Stephen Curry)—he cut himself from the team.
Rondo cited that he had "family obligations" that barred him from competing with the USA team, an excuse I find hard to believe.
Hours before Rondo was officially off the USA team, he told ESPN.com, "I think I'm on the bubble. Just looking at the obvious—I got a DNP last game. That pretty much speaks for itself."
After attending a meeting with the Team USA coaching staff and team hierarchy, Rondo withdrew himself from the team.
Rondo was having a hard time playing for Team USA. His game doesn't translate well internationally and his lack of a jumpshot and free-throw shooting is too much to overlook at times.
What Rondo does do well is dish the ball and run the floor, an expectation he did not live up to during the Lithuania exhibition game in Madrid.
Rondo was the starter that game and had been in all previous contests. But against Lithuania, Rondo couldn't get the team going at the fast pace Coach K wanted. The team instantly fell behind and scored just seven points in the first quarter. Rondo finished the game with two points (1 of 4 shooting), one assist, and four turnovers.
Rondo soon found himself behind Rose on the depth chart, and then behind Westbrook.
Rondo, who is highly praised for his part in the Celtics' recent successes, felt disrespected by Coach K, especially after the DNP-CD against Spain.
He saved himself the embarrassment of headlining as the "final cut of Team USA" by leaving the team for "some family matters to attend to and some things to take care of before the NBA season."
Really, Rondo? I just wish he would admit that he left only under the pretenses that he knew he was on the chopping block.
What is so pressing that it can't wait two weeks—two weeks he planned on being away anyways?
If Rondo really is going home to run some errands, he backs out on a commitment he made to Team USA a long time ago. Practices and tryouts for the team started near the end of July. The tournament in Turkey ends in the middle of September. For him to back out now (after a month of practices and only a couple weeks from the end) to handle more important issues, has me scratching my head in disbelief.
It doesn't matter that he would have been cut. This incident gives a look into the mind of Rajon Rondo. Blaming his own ineptitude on family matters? He's coming off as a prima donna in the making.
Put your ego aside and take the cut if it's deserving (which it is).
What's worse is Rondo claiming his move was "what's best for the country." Rondo has painted a golden-framed, velvet-laced picture in his mind—in which he's a family-first, first-string deserving, patriotic point-guard.
What's "best for the country" is honoring a commitment. If Rondo wasn't going to be cut, do you think this would have happened?
Hopefully Rajon uses these much needed two weeks to prep himself for the upcoming season. He'll need all the time he can get to work on his sorry excuse for a jumpshot.