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Rondo added to Team USA roster 07.15.10 at 5:56 pm ET
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NBA.com reports Rajon Rondo was added to the 2010-12 USA Basketball men’s national team roster used to select teams for the 2010 FIBA (International Basketball Federation) World Championship and the 2012 Olympics in London.

Rondo expressed his excitement via Twitter: “Playing for Team USA this summer. Looking forward to repping our country.”

The Celtics 6-foot-1 guard joins Mavericks center Tyson Chandler and Suns center Robin Lopez, bringing the Team USA player count to 24.

All three additions are expected to participate in the team’s training camp in Las Vegas next week, culminating with the 2010 USA Basketball Showcase July 24.

NBA.com confirms the following players will participate in the camp, which runs July 19-24: Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets), Chandler, Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings), Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies), Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers), Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers), Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder), Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), David Lee (Golden State Warriors), Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets), Lopez, Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies), Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers), Rondo, Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Amar’e Stoudemire (New York Knicks), Gerald Wallace (Charlotte Bobcats), and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Rondo led the Celtics to the NBA finals last year, averaging 13.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in the regular season.

Rondo has some experience with USA Basketball after playing for the 2005 USA U-21 World Championship Team that went 7-1 and finished fifth. Rondo recorded 27 steals (3.4 spg) to lead the team and set a new USA U-21 record that year.

The FIBA World Championship takes place in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Kayseri, Turkey, from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12. The U.S. will open the 2010 World Championships Aug. 28 against Croatia, which has never faced the Americans in championship play but has an 0-3 record against them in the Olympics.

The USA has won 10 medals in the World Championship — three gold medals (1954, 1986 and 1994), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006).

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Rondo initially declined the  invitation to participate in February, when the roster was first constructed, but that some miscommunication may have been behind it.

Colangelo said in a statement, “Tyson, Robin and Rajon are outstanding additions to the national team and they help give us the talent and depth required in making sure we field the very best USA Basketball teams possible.”

Players selected in the Las Vegas training camp will regroup in New York to train more next month and compete in the first-ever World Basketball Festival, a four-day basketball bonanza, put on by Nike and USA Basketball, celebrating the performance and the culture surrounding the sport, before they fly overseas for the World Championship.

Read More: Rajon Rondo, Robin Lopez, Tyson Chandler, USA Basketball
Pierce says ‘work cut out’ for Celtics 07.15.10 at 4:16 pm ET
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Paul Pierce is thrilled to stay a Celtic, but thinks there is still some work to do to fill out the defending Eastern Conference champs.

In a media conference call Thursday, Pierce said he will likely retire in the Green he’s worn his whole career, but had to take less money to do so.

Pierce said he was disappointed the Celtics lost Tony Allen to Memphis, and that the Celtics has “a lot of work to do” to build another championship-caliber team.

“We got a lot [to do] right now,” Pierce said during the conference call. “We lost [Tony Allen], we don’t have Nate [Robinson], we might not have Rasheed [Wallace]. We’ve got to add a bench. We’ve got our work cut out. We need perimeter defense and we need to add a backup point guard to help out [Rajon] Rondo, if Nate doesn’t come back. And we need another big.”

But Pierce was happy with the acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal.

“I thought it was a great move picking up Jermaine [O'Neal], giving us an inside presence in case Rasheed retires, but sometimes I’m looking at all the players signing and wish we would get on the ball a little bit. I trust in Danny to put a good team around us, but I’m sitting here watching all these good players fall to other teams.”

As far as the changes to the lastest Eastern Conference favorites, the Heat, Pierce had positive things to say about LeBron James‘ televised “Decision,” and the power threesome leading the team on South Beach.

“It’s a new day and time, man,” Pierce said when asked if James took his revelation too far. “Everything has become a production. You see people living in their homes on reality TV, man. It’s a new day and time.”

On James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Pierce said, “The beginning of a new era … I think you’ll see more of this. Superstars are going to get together now to form teams. You’re hearing now about Chris Paul and [Carmelo Anthony] getting together to join Amar’e (Stoudemire) in New York next year. I think this is the way things are going to happen now.”

Read More: Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal, Paul Pierce, Tony Allen
Mannix on D&C: LeBron still wouldn’t make Miami the favorite 07.08.10 at 10:33 am ET
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Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated joined guest hosts Bob Ryan and Bob Neumeier on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to weigh in on the LeBron James situation and offer his opinion on the validity of reports that James is headed to Miami.

Following are some highlights. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

On  Miami’s position to compete in the Eastern Conference if LeBron joins Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh:

I think next season it would be extremely difficult. Now, I’m convinced that Michael Beasley is going to stay on the roster because they can’t give him away for a ham sandwich. They’re trying to pass him off on every team in the league, which is a little mind-boggling considering that two years ago this guy was the No. 2 pick in the draft. We were arguing about being possibly the No. 1 pick with Derrick Rose. Their willingness to just give him away is a little baffling.

But you make the point, even if those three guys sign, you’re left with Mario Chalmers suddenly becomes the Rajon Rondo of the Miami Heat, where he sort of he’s sort of an unknown commodity and he has to play exceptionally well for them to succeed. But the other problem is they don’t have a Kendrick Perkins equivalent. There’s no center down there. There’s nobody down there. They’re going to have to sign a Mikki Moore to play center for that position. They’re going to have fill up the rest of the roster with veteran minimum salary players.

I think come next year, if maybe Beasley proves himself he can be a trade shipment and you can use that whole mid-level exception to use on one guy and maybe spread it out over two guys,  I think that next year they’re in a better position. But I’m not convinced guys that even if those three guys come together — and I’m sure they’re going to win 65 to 70 regular season games — I’m not convinced they’re getting out of the Eastern Conference. I mean, if Boston can get their act together and Kendrick Perkins can come back in the second half of the season and give them something close to what he gave them last year, I think they’re still going to be considered the favorite. I just think they still have enough left in the tank to make one more run and chemistry-wise and talent-wise, I think even though they have all the stock power down there in Miami, I don’t believe they have enough to get past the Celtics or even maybe Chicago in the conference finals. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: LeBron James, Miami Heat, Mike Miller,
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