Rondo "withdraws" from Team USA; Final roster set at 12
After a meeting with the coaching staff and Team USA management, Boston Celtics' guard, Rajon Rondo, has "withdrawn" from the team. Team sources cite Rondo has left the team for a variety of personal reasons including spending time with family and preparing for another championship run with the Celtics, however, after a DNP-coach's decision in the United States' last exhibition game against Spain, Rondo ended up with a one-way plane ticket back to Boston.
Rondo's position on the team was never solidified, even through the team's practices and scrimmages due to his inability to knock down shots consistently from the perimeter. And in international play with teams playing zone-defense and a wider key, perimeter play is the pinnacle of success. In his four-year NBA career, Rondo is a 24.4% shooter from behind the arc and a career 63.0% shooter from the foul line.
The Boston guard was Team USA's starting point last weekend in Madrid, but a 1-for-3 shooting performance with 4 turnovers against Lithuania moved Rondo to 3rd string behind Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. With Rondo playing the point, Team USA scored just 7 points in the 1st Quarter in the 77-61 win.
Now with Rondo returning to the US, the final roster is set: the guards will be Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon; the wings will be Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay and Danny Granger; the frontcourt players will be Tyson Chandler, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love and Lamar Odom. These final 12 players will travel to Istanbul, Turkey Thursday (August 26) where Team USA will open play against Croatia on Saturday.