Rajon Rondo had a feeling he may be on the way out with Team USA after he did not log a single minute of playing time in the team’s one point exhibition victory over Spain on Sunday. Rondo had lost his starting job to Derrick Rose and was third on the depth chart behind Russell Westbrook. What hurt Rondo was his inability to play multiple positions as he is a true point guard. The coaching staff had made it clear early on while at minicamp in Las Vegas that they were looking for players who were position flexible. To make matters simple for Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Rondo decided to take matters into his own hands and withdrew himself from the team Tuesday.
Rondo sited family issues that he needs to tend to before the start of the NBA season begins as his reason for leaving the team. Team USA shortly thereafter released a statement that Rondo had been cut. Jerry Colangelo had nothing but good things to say about Rondo’s time with the team. “He did an outstanding job during our training,” Colangelo said, “we appreciate the effort and commitment he made to our program and he completely has our support.” With Rondo’s departure the finalized roster that Team USA will have for the FIBA World Championships has been set. Representing the US will be: Chauncey Billups, Tyson Chandler, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook.
Questions still remain for this team as they prepare for the tournament. The biggest question that has been that has been posed about their lineup concerns their lack of size and ability to rebound the basketball. Losing Rondo is a blow to their rebounding efforts because, despite his size, he is an excellent rebounding point guard. Another issue that the team must face is injuries that Granger and Curry have suffered during training camp and whether they are able to play at a high level.
Team USA has one more exhibition game to play before the World Championships begin. They will face the now notorious Greek national team in Athens on Wednesday. Hopefully no chairs will take flight in that game. The USA and its team with the average age of 24.66 years old will begin the World Championships on August 28 against Croatia.