There are certainly a lot of questions about Rondo's withdrawal from Team USA. There are theories all over the blogs and news services about why he voluntarily withdrew the day after sharing concerns that he was on the bubble on the team. The reason he gave for leaving was that he had family issues to deal with. He did leave the team briefly due to the death of his uncle and according to information given by his brother to the Globe's Julian Benbow, this could very well be the reason.
“That’s my mother’s brother and we’re a small family. I’m not sure how you put it in words. The only person that talked to him was my mom. He was really close to my uncle. All of us were. Maybe it got overwhelming and he decided he needed to take some time away from basketball. You never know.”
After Coach K explained Rondo's DNP in the game against Spain as simply his desire to look at some of the younger guys since Rondo is a veteran and he knows what he will get from Rondo, he had this to say:
"It's not so much what Rajon has to show, it's what our team needs," Krzyzewski said. "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.This seems to send a different message that Rondo's game doesn't transfer well to the international game and that Rondo just didn't fit the mold that the team was going for. There have been theories that the headstrong and stubborn Rondo was at odds with his coach and that Rondo wasn't really wanted by Colangelo right from the start because of his independence. Whatever the reason, Danny wasn't at all upset by the decision for Rondo and Team USA to part.
"Derrick right now being with Chauncey is a good [combination], and Stephen, 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."
“You’re always worried about the injury factor and the getting worn down factor. But I think that there is some good that can come from it as well, particularly with young players. But Rondo played late into the season and it was a long season. He carries a pretty big load for our team. So I can’t say that I'm disappointed that he’s coming home.”I can see Rondo using his Team USA experience as motivation for next year. For one thing, I imagine that he is going to put in some extra work on free throws and his jump shot in the time left before training camp begins. (which is just 37 days away according to bballee's latest count.) I can also see some attitude coming out when Rondo faces Rose, Billups, Westbrook, Curry, or Gordon in the regular season as Rondo looks to prove that he is better than any of those guards.
With all the hoopla over Rondo's inclusion on Team USA, we tend to forget that he isn't the only Celtic who is participating in the World Championships. Celtics' center Semih Erden is playing for Turkey. In Turkey's gave vs Argentina, Erden showed athleticism and potential as he played both the center and power forward positions, guarding NBA players Fabricio Oberto and Luis Scola, and outscoring both players 15-14. Erden was the leading scorer with 15 points and also pulled down 8 rebounds and hit 7-13 free throws. While we all want the USA to win, I'll be keeping an eye on Erden and hoping for more good things from him.
Avery Bradley is still working hard to come back from the ankle surgery that prevented him from playing on the Celtics' Summer League team. Slam Online caught up to him recently and asked him who he felt his game most resembled. His answer was that a lot of people say that his game resembles Monta Ellis. He also mentioned Russell Westbrook. I'm a bit confused by this comparison because Ellis is not known for his defense while Bradley has been called the best defender in this draft. I'm just hoping that he lives up to the billing he had going into college as the top recruit, even higher than Wall at that time. A Bradley/Nate backcourt could be very interesting with Nate supplying the firepower and Bradley supplying the lock down defense.
Making the rounds of the blogs is the story about Shaq's girlfriend playing a practical joke at him at Waffle House. It seems they went to Waffle House for breakfast and when Shaq went to use the restroom, Hoopz poured the salt shaker into Shaq's orange juice. Reports are that he was a good sport and they all had a good laugh. He also left a $30 tip for his $20 bill. On a side note, I love Waffle House. Their hash browns (scattered, smothered, covered, and chunked) are awesome!
On this date in NBA history, Bill Russell signed a contract to become the NBA's highest paid player. His contract was for $1.00 more than his arch-rival Wilt Chamberlain. The date was August 25, 1965. FLCeltsFan 8/25/2010 11:39:00 AM Tweet