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For Rajon Rondo, Winning NBA Championship More Important Than FIBA Gold Medal

Back in late August, surprise and speculation surrounded Rajon Rondo's absence from the Team USA roster just before the FIBA World Championship was set to begin. Initial reports had Rondo cut, but then the story was that the point guard asked for his name to be removed from consideration.

Over the weekend, ESPN's Ric Bucher caught up with Rondo, and the Celtic explained that if it were up to him, he never would have even tried out for Team USA.

Rondo said several factors contributed to his subpar performance with the squad -- being worn out from the Celtics' narrow Finals loss to the Lakers, his mind on making up for it this season; missing his two-year old daughter; mourning the death of an uncle; and being disenchanted with European cuisine -- ultimately leading him to withdraw from the team.

Rondo has apparently long been "ambivalent" about suiting up for Team USA, and only decided to try out this summer after encouragement from his agent, Bill Duffy.

"Physically, emotionally, he wasn't ready for it," Duffy said. "I feel bad because I was really pushing him to do it because of the experience and his stature."

Read the full feature at ESPN (via CelticsBlog).