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Rajon Rondo is unphased by the Team USA mystique

Jul 19, 2010, 1:21 PM EDT

Rajon Rondo has never seemed all that interested in playing for Team USA. He kind of brushed off the initial invite to participate in this summer’s tryout (He apparently couldn’t be bothered to get back to Team USA czar Jerry Colangelo), and though he was officially added to the national team’s roster last week, he doesn’t seem particularly psyched about the opportunity to rep his country alongside Kevin Durant and Amar’e Stoudemire.

From Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse:

[Rondo] was downright indecisive Sunday when it came to his possible participation with the USA Basketball National Team that begins practicing Monday in Las Vegas. “I might not know until later tonight,” Rondo told FanHouse late Sunday afternoon. “I don’t have a plane ticket yet, but I might still get one.”

…”I don’t know what I’m going to do yet,” he said, then ended the interview by answering his cell phone. He left the locker room before returning to the topic of USA Basketball. Clearly, he was having doubts about going to Las Vegas for the start of practice, which would put his participation for the rest of the summer in jeopardy.

Rondo was a bit of an odd fit to begin with (point guards without a consistent shooting stroke tend to fair poorly in international competition), but his callous disregard for the Team USA program represents exactly what Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski have been actively trying to avoid. Consistency and professionalism were declared paramount for the new-school national team, and with Rondo not only disinterested but a bit disrespectful to Colangelo, the program, and his potential teammates, Team USA would be wise to invest more in Rajon’s talented and more interested contemporaries.

For the record: There’s nothing wrong with Rondo’s disregard for the program. If he doesn’t want to play, he shouldn’t. But there are better ways to relay that message to the Team USA brass than his current course of action.

Even if Rondo would have been the best PG available with Chris Paul and Deron Williams sitting out this summer, there are still some pretty decent alternatives. Chauncey Billups is the favorite to grab the starting job for the FIBA World Championships, but Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Tyreke Evans, and Steph Curry will all receive consideration at the Vegas mini-camp.

  1. johnmaine - Jul 19, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    Dwyane Wade issues official apology for World Trade Center comments: http://bit.ly/cPJFPH

  2. johnmaine - Jul 19, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Dwyane Wade issues official apology for World Trade Center comments: http://bit.ly/cPJFPH

  3. WhoCares - Jul 19, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Rondo shouldn’t be invited anyway. No way he’s American. He looks like Starvin Marvin.

  4. Panda Claus - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Team USA huh? So this isn’t another story about the Miami Heat? I was worried LeBron had thoughts of renaming the team.

  5. Kirk Henderson - Jul 19, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Have to disagree – there is something wrong with Rondo’s blatant disrespect and Team USA should handle it by revoking his inclusion on the roster. Love Rondo as a player, but he’s always been a bit off in terms of social situations.

  6. Francesco - Jul 19, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Rondo should probably stay back to work on his personal game anyways (free throws and improving jump-shot range)

  7. It's Kung Fu Kid NOT Karate Kid - Jul 20, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    I would still pick the Celtics over the Heat. I want a round three in the Finals with the Lakers.
    Though a very much talented young PG, this peepsqueak is beginning to be too full of himself. Not much unlike Starbury. The only difference is that Rondo has a ring. Starbury got nothing.

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