It’s great that players want to play for their country, but Derrick Rose, who has a total of 10 regular season games in two full seasons, shouldn’t be spending his time with Team USA when he is such a huge injury risk and the Chicago Bulls have got so much invested in him.
We’re hearing the same things from last year: Rose is just as explosive on both ends of the floor if not more despite the injuries. When he came back in preseason and during the regular season, his style of play didn’t change. He was rusty and made some very bad decisions which led to a terrible shooting percentage (35.4% from the field) and a high turnover rate (3.4 per game), but it didn’t seem like there were any limitations on his minutes, or the Bulls looking too afraid to use him to the max.
Then came the MCL tear, and another season lost. For him, and the team. A championship caliber squad that in 2010-2011 reached the conference finals, a first for the Bulls since Michael Jordan took his last shot for them, while Rose won the regular season MVP. The sky was the limit, the future was bright and filled with promise of more awards and possibly titles, or at least coming close to them, for the Chicago Bulls.
Rose is back. Another Adidas return. Maybe less hyped this time. It’s interesting that he has opted to play for the American team in the Basketball World Cup. According to Mike Krzyzewski, there are on restrictions. He’s better than he was four years ago in Turkey, a tournament that was mostly remembered for the dominance of Kevin Durant against international rivals. It should be a bit tougher this time with Spain having both Gasol brothers playing, not to mention having the home fans support.
Thibodeau shouldn’t be happy. Yes, this is an opportunity for Rose to shed the fat layers of rust on his body, not to mention Thibodeau being a part of the Team USA coaching staff. Rose looked good in Summer League training, although he has admitted he’s trying to do things a little differently this year, admitting he might have pushed it too hard and too fast 12 months ago, too eager to prove to everyone he’s ready to play like the old him.
Too much of a risk? Probably. But Rose is hungry to return to actual basketball. To play next to NBA players, before he joins the league once again, hoping that 25 is a new beginning for him. Still a young player, but one who has been injured more than guys who have been in the league for over a decade. It should all be about making the smart, cautious moves, until the fear is gone. Playing international basketball doesn’t seem to fit that mold.