Many athletes consider representing their country in the Olympics the pinnacle of their careers. But Rajon Rondo has always been lukewarm on the subject, and after leaving Team USA’s 2010 World Championships squad under curious circumstances, he never wants to think about playing in the Olympics. Like, ever. (Fox Sports Florida)
Rondo, who is one of the NBA’s top point guards and is averaging a league-best 11.3 assists, wasn’t one of the 20 players selected in January as finalists for Team USA’s 2012 roster in London. And even if another player were to possibly be added, Rondo, 26, said there would be no need to call him.
“I’m not focusing at all on the Olympics. At all. At all,” Rondo said before handing out 15 assists in Boston’s 115-107 win over Miami, his 18th straight game with 10 or more, the NBA’s longest streak in 20 years.
Rondo, who still would be young enough to play in the Games in 2016 or 2020, then was asked if he ever would have an interest in playing in the Olympics.
“No, I don’t,” he said. “I just don’t… Wondering why? I love my summers. I’ll leave it at that.”
For what it’s worth, Rondo said he didn’t get cut from Team USA. He “decided to leave” because he was “homesick.”
But Rondo is a stubborn dude, and I imagine whatever happened with Team USA left him with a sour taste he won’t forget. To refresh your memory in case you forget how Rondo left Team USA: He started the first few exhibitions, played poorly against Lithuania, received a DNP-CD against Spain, and then reportedly “withdrew” from the team due to family matters, after Coach K said the following about his rotation:
“It’s not so much what Rajon has to show, it’s what our team needs,” Krzyzewski said, according to the Boston Globe. “We’ve found a good lineup, and the international game is so different from the NBA game, you can ask any of these guys. Part of it is to make sure that we try not to have two non-shooters out on the court, and there’s the physicality, too.
“Derrick [Rose] right now being with Chauncey [Billups] is a good [combination], and Stephen [Curry], he provides a different thing, because if they are going under [screens] and they keep going under on him, then he has a 3. So it forces another team to change the way they defend our team. So it’s things like that, and how we feel strategy-wise what’ll be best for the team.”
I’m fine with Rondo never playing for Team USA again. He’ll get to use the offseason to work on his game rather than try to win gold medals.