When Team USA first began practicing, Derrick Rose stole the show. Simply put, everyone who watched Rose working out with the squad pronounced him as officially being “back.”
— NBA Hashtag (@nbahashtag) August 8, 2014
Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was one of the people who got to see first-hand just how good Derrick Rose looked, since Thibs is an assistant coach for Team USA. He was thrilled with what he saw, but was probably more thrilled with the fact that D-Rose was just another talented player in a gym full of USA’s best ballers, since that meant there were zero pressure on Rose to “be the man.”
But could it be that, only a few weeks later, D-Rose conceivably will be one of the last four players cut from the roster?
Lingering soreness in his knee (knees?) has kept Rose out of two practices and the team’s exhibition game against the Dominican Republic, and even though he participated in practice yesterday and is expected to play in the team’s final exhibition game tonight against Puerto Rico, there are some who question whether suiting up for Team USA is worth the risk.
After all, Rose has missed not one but the majority of two straight seasons due to injuries, and the argument can easily be made that the soreness he is experiencing is a sign that his body is not ready. If that’s the case, he should be spending the next few weeks strengthening his body in preparation for the Bulls’ training camp.
Of course, D-Rose sees things differently:
If I can play, I’m going to play, no matter when it is or how many games it is. If I’m healthy enough to play, I’ll play. I’m not worried about that. I think all the training that I’ve been doing in the past, I think I’m now prepared for it. Right now, it’s about getting my legs up under me a little bit more.
And it’s not like Team USA needs Rose to start and log significant minutes, at least not in the pool play portion of the FIBA World Cup, since Team USA landed in what most people feel is the weakest pool in the tournament.
The final roster will be revealed tomorrow, so vote on whether you think Derrick Rose will be among the twelve NBA athletes headed to Spain!