Danny Ainge sheds some light on why Rajon Rondo didn’t play for Team USA
|12.23.10 at 5:29 pm ET|
One of the enduring mysteries of the past summer is why Rajon Rondo was the last player left off the United States national team that participated in the World Championships. Rondo left the team shortly before the competition began.
Rondo has rarely spoken about it, although he did dispute the notion that he was cut during the Celtics media day. “No I [wasn't],” Rondo said. “It was a good experience. I don’t regret it all. I made a lot of good friends. [Mike Krzyzewski] is a great coach. I had a great experience.”
The official word was that Rondo withdrew from the team because of an personal issue (he had a death in the family) and because he was tired from the long playoff run. Speaking to The Big Show on WEEI, Celtics president Danny Ainge offered a little more insight.
“I think Rajon really didn’t want to do it,” Ainge said. “He was pretty tired after the end of the NBA finals and he needed some rest. He’s not a real attention seeker and I don’t think he wanted to play for the US team. They came back to him again and he said he really didn’t want to do it, and they came back again and he finally relented. They got it down to 13 players, I think he sort of volunteered to be the guy to not do it. I just don’t think it’s a dream, a passion of his to play on the US team. I don’t think there was any more to it than that.”