London's calling (but not for Rondo)

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London's calling (but not for Rondo)

The last time Rajon Rondo and USA Basketball got together, the relationship didn't end well what with Rondo not getting along with his teammates (surprise!), finding himself on the verge of being cut and pre-emptively abandoning the team in Turkey.

This was back in the fall of 2010, as Team USA prepared for the World Championships, and at the time, we assumed that Rondo prematurely parting ways with the team wouldn't bode well for his chances of representing his country at the 2012 London Games. Furthermore, we didn't know if Rondo in the eyes of Team USA was even good enough to make the team, or if he was even interested in playing to begin with. Either way, there appeared to be a better chance of Rondo winning this year's 3-Point Contest than there was of him suiting up for the Red, White and Blue.

Anyway, whatever suspense there was is now over. As Rondo according to Chris Sheridan has been left off the preliminary roster:

Here's the 19-man list, as reported by Sheridan.

LaMarcus Aldridge
Carmelo Anthony
Chauncey Billups
Chris Bosh
Kobe Bryant
Tyson Chandler
Kevin Durant
Eric Gordon
Blake Griffin
Dwight Howard
Andre Iguodala
LeBron James
Kevin Love
Lamar Odom
Chris Paul
Derrick Rose
Dwyane Wade
Russell Westbrook
Deron Williams

As you can see, there are five true point guards on the list, and if we're being honest, Chauncey Billups is the only one you'd consider passing over for Rondo. Then again, Billups' range probably better suits him for the international game even at the ripe old age of 72.

Anyway, I'd call this a tough break for Rondo, but that's assuming he even cares.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Rondo says he will not play tonight

Rondo says he will not play tonight

Rajon Rondo, out with a fractured right thumb, will not play for the Chicago Bulls against the Celtics tonight in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series at TD Garden, according to multiple reports.

The series is tied at 2.

Rondo, the Bulls point guard who played the first two game of the series, was reportedly going to try and test the thumb tonight but told reporters Wednesday morning he couldn’t play. 

Game 6 is Friday in Chicago. Game 7, if necessary, is Sunday in Boston.  Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg called Rondo's return a "longshot."

More to come. 
 

POLITICO sees Epstein as potential savior for Democrats

POLITICO sees Epstein as potential savior for Democrats

A piece that ran on POLITICO Wednesday morning explored an interesting possibility: A potential political career for longtime baseball executive Theo Epstein. 

The piece, titled “Could Theo Epstein Perform a Miracle for the Democrats?” comes a month after Fortune magazine ranked the Cubs president of baseball operations No. 1 on its annual ranking of the world’s greatest leaders. In the POLITICO article, Ben Strauss, in addition to noting the 43-year-old’s accomplishments with the Red Sox and Cubs, hits on several instances in which Epstein’s leadership has been mentioned in relation to politics. 

Strauss then goes on to interview CNN senior political commentator (and Cubs fan) David Axelrod about whether Epstein could be a saving grace with “Democrats on the lookout for a new generation of talent.”

The interview sees both POLITICO and Axelrod compare Epstein to Barack Obama. Says Axelrod: 

They both have two kinds of intelligence: emotional intelligence and a more linear intelligence. They both have the self-confidence to surround themselves with very smart people. Theo’s had a core group around him (general manager Jed Hoyer and head of amateur scouting Jason McLeod) since the beginning in Boston. It’s striking how much he relishes smart people around him and has the confidence to be challenged...Obama had it, too. I would add that Epstein has learned on the job. In Boston he was a pioneer [in using statistical analysis]...He’s told me that he used to be dismissive of the touchy-feely stuff [in evaluating baseball players], but now his scouts write five-page essays about the guys they’re going to draft. In the same way, Obama would tell you he was a better president at the end of eight years than at the beginning. He was smart enough to learn on the job, too.

Asked whether Epstein could win a statewide race for governor or Senate in Illinois, Axelrod replied, “Yeah, he could,” but questions whether Epstein has “the desire to hold public office.”

“I think Theo would be frustrated in public office because of the situation he’s in now,” Axelrod said. “He basically has free rein to do what he needs to do for the success of the organization. That is not the case in politics—you’re seeing that with the governor in Illinois (Bruce Rauner) right now. You have to deal with legislatures and all kinds of public stakeholders. And if you’re used to making things happen, I’m not sure the Senate would be a particularly satisfying job for you. When I talked to him on my podcast...about what he might want to do next...he allowed that he might want to own a team sometime and use that team or use that platform to try to impact on a community. He clearly cares about the larger world and wants to make an impact...But there are many, many reasons I think Cubs fans can relax and enjoy the benefits of his leadership for many years to come.”