Rajon Rondo: On Why He Left Team USA

by September 19, 2010

Ric Bucher reports: “[I]f it had been up to Rondo, he never would have tried out for the USA squad that ended a 16-year drought by defeating Turkey for the 2010 FIBA World Championship title. Worn out from the Celtics’ narrow Finals loss to the Lakers, his mind on making up for it this season, missing his two-year old daughter, mourning the death of an uncle and disenchanted with European cuisine contributed to his subpar performance with the squad, he said, ultimately leading him to withdraw from the team…His agent, Bill Duffy, insists that it was his idea that Rondo compete. ‘Physically, emotionally, he wasn’t ready for it,’ Duffy said. ‘I feel bad because I was really pushing him to do it because of the experience and his stature.’…’It was great to practice every day against the best young talent in the league, a veteran like Chauncey Billups and play for a Hall of Fame coach (Mike Krzyzewski),’ Rondo said. ‘But some of these guys hadn’t played since April. Lamar (Odom) and I had just got out of Game 7. And next season is right around the corner. I feel like I had to take advantage of the opportunity I have right now to win another championship. It’s not often you get to play with four Hall of Famers. Another couple of years and I won’t have that.'”