I watched the first half of Team USA’s scrimmage last night, and I’ve got to be honest: I wasn’t overly impressed with Rajon Rondo. He threw a couple careless turnovers, never really did too much offensively and was generally one of the least impressive players on the court. (Sorry, Rajon, but I ain’t gonna lie for ya.)
But even after the somewhat lackluster performance, Rondo has at least one thing going for him: His coach loves him.
While Billups is expected to start because of his experience, Rondo likely will be on the final roster and play a major role. Rondo’s previous international experience came when he played in the 2005 under-21 world championships.
“He’s a champion and really an ultimate competitor,” Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I love him. He’s just a guy who wants to win and he’ll do anything you want him to do to win.”
Yup, that sounds like the Rajon Rondo we’ve come to know and love.
Even after last night’s so-so performance, Rondo should make the team. He’s a pure point guard who can run an offense, pressure the bejesus out of the basketball, force turnovers and thrive in transition. Rondo has already shown an ability to make teammates better, even teammates good enough to be considered for Team USA.
Just listen to Kevin Durant, who seemed giddy to play with Rondo.
“Rajon Rondo,” he said, when asked which player he most wants to play with. “I was really looking forward to play with him. Of course, with me being a wing, having a dynamic point guard like him gets me excited. I’m looking forward to that.”
Don’t let Durant down, Coach K. Keep the man you love on the team.