USA Basketball issued a press release Tuesday night announcing Rajon Rondo's withdrawal from the team, four days prior to the start of the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
The roster that had already been cut down before at the end of July, has more rookies and veterans powerful enough to bring home the bacon.
After starting slow in the first two games, missing the third, and swallowing a DNP (did not play) from Coach Mike Krzyzewski last week, Rondo withdrew from basketball camp. He had lost his spot as the starting point guard to Derrick Rose last weekend in Madrid, and consequently, his stock had fallen to the point where he was third on the point-guard chart behind Rose and Westbrook.
There have been rumors and speculation as to why he would check out at the last minute.
According to USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo, Rondo had "some family matters to attend to and some things to take care of before the NBA season." Before the team arrival overseas, Rondo missed a training session in New York to attend his uncle's funeral in Kentucky.
I'm sure this is part of the family matters he has to handle before the post season.
Upon the first few games in Europe, Rondo played poorly. In the close game against Lithuania, he scored two points, one assist, and cost the team four turnovers. Also, his lack of rebounding and poor jump shooting adds to his lack of performance.
"Because there are many talented players on the roster, it's hard not having your favorite player on the court for most of the game," said Shawn Drice, a Boston Celtics' fan.
The coach said he would try to give all 13 players playing time, as long as circumstances permitted it. "It's not so much what Rajon has to show, it's what our team needs. We've found a good lineup, and the international game is so different from the NBA game, you can ask any of these guys," Krzyzewski told ESPN.
Team USA includes three players who are playing at forward or center (Lamar Odom, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love) and six point guards (Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Rose, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, and Rondo) which factors in with Rondo working with the teams' lack of size.
No matter what reason Rondo had for leaving USA, it was his decision. With his dedication and great effort in training the past couple of months, the Celtics All Star has support from his former team.
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