Rajon Rondo Off Team USA's Final Roster
Just a week ago, Rondo was considered the likely starting point guard for the team after playing big minutes in Team USA's first two warm-up scrimmages against China and France in New York City. This was after Rondo had to miss a practice in NYC so he could attend a funeral for his uncle in Kentucky. In USA Basketball's release, team boss Jerry Colangelo says that Rondo withdrew in part because of family issues.
Whether that was the actual cause of the withdrawal or whether Rondo withdrew because Colangelo indicated he would be cut remains to be seen. Rondo, in fact, told ESPN's Chris Sheridan on Monday that he believed he was on the bubble based on not playing against Spain. He didn't come across as a player looking to get back home.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski hardly defused that sentiment by explaining why he suddenly prefers a Derrick Rose-Chauncey Billups backcourt. Russell Westbrook also had a pair of excellent games in Madrid against Lithuania and Spain, and replicates much of what Rondo offers on the court.
There's also the matter of Rondo being less than solid in his commitment to the USA Basketball program over the past year, often waffling on whether he'd be available for the World Championship.
The 12 players on the Team USA roster heading into Wednesday's final warm-up game are Rose, Billups, Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom, Tyson Chandler. The team's tournament opens Saturday against Croatia.