There was a lot of speculation surrounding Rajon Rondo's voluntary departure from Team USA earlier this summer. The club went on to capture the gold medal at the FIBA World Championship, but Rondo willingly returned to the states, amid speculation that he was "saving face" by voluntarily opting out, to avoid the harsh tag of being cut from the team. Well, Rondo helps to set the record straight in an article by Ric Bucher of ESPN.
In fact, if 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.
"I just never got the sense he was committed to it the way some of those other guys were," Ainge said.
Apparently it was Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy, who was the primary campaigner for him to accept an invitation to play for Team USA in the first place. According to the article, Duffy regrets his course of action (how could he not?). It definitely appears as though Rondo's primary focus was on the Celtics the entire time, which will certainly be reassuring for many fans to hear. Either way, what's done is done, and training camp is now just around the corner. Where did the time go?