ATHENS, Greece — The U.S. national basketball team finalized its roster Tuesday for the world championships and there’s no Rajon Rondo.

The Boston Celtics star asked to withdraw from consideration, a release from the team said.

Rondo started the Americans first two exhibition games, then surprisingly didn’t play 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 team has one more tuneup, against Greece today, before the world championships start Saturday in Turkey. They run through Sept. 12.

Earlier Tuesday, Krzyzewski said 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.

“(Tonight’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.”


ROCKETS: Center Yao Ming is confident he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season after a team doctor declared his surgically repaired foot fully healed.

Yao missed last season after undergoing complex surgery on his left foot in July 2009. has been cleared Yao to resume basketball activities.

“I am very excited,” Yao said. “I am just looking forward to playing a great season. I think I can count on my foot now.”


BOBCATS: Charlotte thought the answer to its depth problems at center was to waive Erick Dampier to clear salary-cap space, then re-sign him for less money.

When Dampier wouldn’t agree to a new contract, the Bobcats looked at the next-best option. It just so happened to be Kwame Brown, considered Bobcats owner Michael Jordan’s worst move as an executive.

Jordan signed off anyway, and now they’re reunited, nine years after Jordan’s much-criticized decision to draft Brown No. 1 overall.


CARMELO ANTHONY of Denver and Dwight Howard of Orlando will star in a basketball film with an award-winning Chinese director titled “Amazing.”

The NBA and Shanghai Film Group announced the joint production effort, calling it “the first NBA-themed motion picture outside of North America.”

The filming will take place in New York, Beijing and Shanghai through November.


THUNDER: Oklahoma City hired Maz Trakh to fill an opening on its coaching staff.

Assistants Maurice Cheeks, Rex Kalamian, Mark Bryant and Brian Keefe will return. Trakh will fill a player development role.


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