Athens, Greece The U.S. national basketball team finalized its roster Tuesday for the world championships and there’s no Rajon Rondo.
The Celtics star asked to withdraw from consideration, a release from the team said.
Rondo had started the Americans first two exhibition games, then surprisingly didn’t play at all Sunday when the U.S. edged Spain.
The final 12-man roster set Tuesday includes: Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Rudy Gay, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups, Danny Granger, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Stephen Curry, Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler and Andre Iguodala.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad has one more tuneup, against Greece on today, before the world championships start Saturday in Turkey. They run through Sept. 12.
Earlier Tuesday, Krzyzewski said that his team’s relatively small size, the differences between NBA and global basketball rules, and his players’ lack of experience playing together are all challenges for the U.S.
“We have only played three (warmup) games and we have never played together before (in a championship game),” Krzyzewski said after a shootaround at the Olympic Indoor Arena in Athens.
“(Today’s) game for us is about getting a better understanding of ourselves and the international game before we get into the world championships. We get the chance to do it against one of the best teams.”
Today’s game is being held in the same arena where the U.S. team at the 2004 Olympics — which included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson, among others — failed to win gold for the first time since 1988.
And Greece upset the U.S. at the lasts world championships, in 2006, winning their semifinal against a lineup that again contained James and Wade.
Only with Krzyzewski’s “Redeem Team” of 2008 did the U.S. win another Olympic gold and break a string of disappointing results in major tournaments dating back to the 2002 worlds in Indianapolis.