Charlie Villanueva announced Tuesday that he will not attempt to play on the Dominican national team during the FIBA Americas Championship, which takes place in Venezuela from Aug. 20 - Sept. 1. Villanueva revealed the news with a series of tweets:
Many people r asking me if I'm going to play for the Dominican Republic this summer? Muchos pregunta si voy a jugar para la seleccion de RD?— Charlie Villanueva (@CV31) July 8, 2013
I love my country, yo quiero mi pais mucho...............but........ pero— Charlie Villanueva (@CV31) July 8, 2013
I will concrete on my game in the US, as this is a important year 4 me, love mi pais, pero just focusing on my familia & career in the US— Charlie Villanueva (@CV31) July 8, 2013
Addressing the RD topic now, so they won't lie on me later, like they did last year. Gracias,y quiero mi pais mucho pic.twitter.com/pQ3GCKSzeR— Charlie Villanueva (@CV31) July 8, 2013
Even though he's making it sound like he's stepping back, it's not clear this was Villanueva's choice to make. If you recall, he tried and failed to make the team last year -- DR's head coach John Calipari sent him home, telling reporters, "he was not in good form," accusing him of being "overweight" and saying "we could not slow down the entire team" by including him. Villanueva denied being out of shape, but the episode nevertheless preceded a season in which he posted career-low marks in scoring and rebounding.
Now in a contract year, Villanueva is determined to redeem himself -- whether that's in Detroit or elsewhere. The Pistons have steadfastly refused to amnesty his contract up to this point, but they did attempt to package him in a trade for Rudy Gay.