Rondo Wavering Again With USA Basketball Decision
He was downright indecisive Sunday when it came to his possible participation with the USA Basketball National Team that begins practicing Monday in Las Vegas.
"I might not know until later tonight,'' Rondo told FanHouse late Sunday afternoon. "I don't have a plane ticket yet, but I might still get one.''
Rondo was in Miami for Dwyane Wade's Summer Groove Charity Game, but he declined to play, even when fans started chanting his name. He was on the bench dressed in basketball gear, but showed no interest in joining his teammates on the court. He said he was healthy.
"I just didn't think I had it today,'' he joked earlier with a group of reporters. "The matchup was not good.''
Rondo's participation with USA Basketball has been wavering for some time. He wasn't part of the original core group of players who were asked by USA Basketball to participate this summer, and said later during the NBA season that he was not interested. Then he changed his mind and said he was interested, and he was added to the roster.
Sunday, he wasn't so sure again.
"I don't know what I'm going to do yet,'' he said, then ended the interview by answering his cell phone. He left the locker room before returning to the topic of USA Basketball. Clearly, he was having doubts about going to Las Vegas for the start of practice, which would put his participation for the rest of the summer in jeopardy.
Rondo, who became an All-Star for the first time this season, helped lead the Celtics to the NBA Finals in June, playing a much bigger role than he did when they won the title in 2008.
It was the Celtics Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen who won the title in their first year together, a situation that could be similar to what the Heat are trying to do with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
"This is a different group in Miami. You can't compare the two Big 3's. Only time will tell,'' he said, trying to deflect any comparisons. "It depends on their style of play. Only time will tell how this works out.''
What's interesting is that, depending upon what other point guard the Heat sign, it could be young Mario Chalmers in his third season, trying to run a team with three superstars alongside him. It would be much like Rondo did in 2008.
"Yes, I really want to talk with Rajon,'' Chalmers said. "I'd like to hear what he says about that.''
The biggest difference is that the Boston Big Three were older when they came together, none had won a championship, and two of the three were past their physical primes. In Miami, Dwyane Wade already has won a title, and all three are in their physical primes.
"I can't predict how they'll do. It's a long season. It could be Game 38, or Game 56, and things could change when one guy isn't touching the ball as much as he used to,'' Rondo said. "It depends on personality. The Celtics group did a good job. Everyone was very unselfish.''
Rondo did sound slightly surprised at all the attention the Heat have received, and how they were being hailed as the overwhelming favorites to win a title. When the Celtics came together, most people thought it would take a couple years before they could jell.
"It depends on how you view it. The Lakers (two-time defending champs) are still the team to beat. In the East, we're the champs,'' he said. "But that's in the past. It's a new season. The playoffs are going to be great this season. I'm looking forward to playing them (Heat).''