Derrick Rose has been selected to compete for a chance to represent the USA in the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
Earlier this year, Rose said he was definitely going to play this summer for Team USA. Then a few weeks ago, he said that he might not. Fast forward to yesterday: Rose showed up in Las Vegas to participate in Team USA’s training camp. Why do you do this to us Derrick?
Team USA has a large pool of great players to choose from in this country and when the USA compiles an Olympic team, they are almost impossible to beat. The FIBA World Cup of Basketball doesn’t garner as much prestige as the Olympics and for that reason, many of the biggest names in the NBA won’t be playing for Team USA this summer.
Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul all made their decision early not to participate. In just the last few weeks, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard, and Kevin Love have also withdrawn themselves from consideration for Team USA.
At this point, Team USA is looking for more star power and Derrick Rose just may be the answer. Rose will be competing for a spot on the team with point guards Damian Lillard, John Wall, Stephen Curry, and Kyrie Irving.
Fellow Chicago Bull, Jimmy Butler was also chosen as part of the Team USA Select Team. These are the players who aren’t the top choices but could be good replacements in case of a major injury to one of the primary 19 players. Unfortunately, Butler strained his groin and has consequently withdrawn himself from any kind of consideration for a starting spot on Team USA.
This is probably good news for the Bulls. Not participating in the FIBA tournament will give Butler more time to rest and recover. I’m ok with him sitting out of FIBA activities this summer. The chances of Butler even making the team were very slim. I think his time can be better spent practicing and getting better acquainted with his new Bulls teammates.
The road to earning a spot on Team USA won’t necessarily be easy for Rose. He’s competing against four of the best guards in the NBA. If Rose is playing like it’s 2010, he should definitely be the starting guard among the aforementioned group of players. I think he’ll make the team easily over Lillard and Wall but Irving and Curry will definitely give him some good competition for the starting spot.
Despite his troubles in the past few years with injuries, I believe basketball fans in the USA would love to see Rose play this summer, dominate on the court (like his old self), and help the USA bring back a FIBA World Cup Gold Medal.
The first team practice was yesterday and the mediasphere was buzzing with stories of Derrick Rose suiting up and stepping onto the court again for practice in Las Vegas. Other than 5-on-5 drills in practice, Rose has had very little full-contact playing time in a professional basketball setting since his last injury. The FIBA World Cup should give us a good idea of what we can expect from Rose this season.
Rose told reporters after practice yesterday that he was feeling great and that his confidence was very high. There is even a video of him dunking if you want to see it with your own eyes! This is encouraging to see. Sure it’s not him dunking on Evan Turner in the final seconds of an Eastern Conference Playoff game, but it is fun to see him throw down again… it has been a while.
The FIBA World Cup begins August 30th and the championship game will be held September 14th. I’m not sure how I feel about Rose participating in the FIBA World Cup this summer. Selfishly, I want to see him play this summer for Team USA. On one hand, I think it’ll be really helpful for him to get some high-level basketball playing time under his belt before the NBA season starts in October.
On the other hand, I feel like his time could be better spent in Chicago building chemistry with his new teammates, resting, recovering, and preparing for a deep championship run this season. I also fear that he could possibly injure himself playing in the FIBA Cup this summer.
Realistically, I know Rose could injure himself anytime, I am well aware of that. I just think it would be about a million times more hurtful to Chicago fans if he gets injured in a first round FIBA World Cup game against Finland as opposed to a playoff game against the Cavaliers.
If everything goes to plan, Rose will play well this summer and help Team USA dominate in the FIBA World Cup. If that happens, it is going to be the ultimate dose of excitement for Bulls fans and NBA fans everywhere. It will only build on what is shaping up to be the most intriguing NBA season in a long time.