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After not playing due to a coach’s decision against Spain, Rajon Rondo has withdrawn from the American team. Some have said the reasons were that Rondo wasn’t shooting well enough for Coach Mike Krzyzewski (try spelling that three times fast), and others say Rondo needed to spend more time with his family following the passing of his uncle. According to Rondo himself,
“I think I’m on the bubble. Just looking at the obvious, I got a DNP last game; that pretty much speaks for itself. It’s what’s best for the country. We knew coming in it was still tryouts until we make the team that goes to Turkey.”
In that DNP against Spain, new backcourt combinations were tested for the shooting-heavy strategy of Team USA without Rondo. And Rondo only missed the one day to attend his uncle’s funeral, not even enough for a bereavement list stay.
If nothing else, Rondo will be able to focus on preparing for the 2010-2011 Boston Celtics. He gets to be back home and forget about the FIBA rules and remind himself of NBA rules. If Rondo is still in the grieving process, then this is a great opportunity to distract himself by re-integrating himself with the Celtics and developing chemistry with Shaq and the other new teammates. Overall, it just wasn’t meant to be with Rondo’s usual strategies conflicting with those of Team USA. Besides, even if Rondo had stayed on the team, it probably wouldn’t have made too much of a difference next season anyway.
And with Rondo’s departure, the Team USA roster has been finalized. Check below for the final roster and schedule:
The top four teams in each of the four groups (of six) moves on to the knockout rounds, beginning on September 4-7. Be sure to tune in and root for the good guys.