Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Thibs hopes Rose will play for Team USA
By Nick Friedell
CLEVELAND -- Tom Thibodeau is hopeful Derrick Rose will be able to participate for Team USA as it gets set for the World Cup of Basketball this summer in Spain.
The Chicago Bulls head coach and Team USA assistant wants Rose to have the experience of playing with the world's best again. Rose was on the list of 28 names in Team USA's pool to pick from.
"I'm hopeful that he will participate and he'll be selected," Thibodeau said after the Bulls' win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. "But a lot depends on where his health is. But I thought it was a great experience for him in the past. I know how much he enjoyed it. I know how USA Basketball feels about him. I think it's a great honor and a privilege, and hopefully it will work out."
Rose tore the medial meniscus in his right knee on Nov. 22 and was ruled out by the Bulls for the remainder of the season after having surgery to repair the injury on Nov. 25. He has only played in 50 games during the past three seasons. But Rose and Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski were hoping that he would be able to play this summer.
"For sure I would love to play on the team," Rose said when asked about it in October. "It would be an honor. But at the same time, it would take me trying out for the team and Coach K and his coaching staff, along with Thibs, with picking the players and allowing me to play for him.
"So if I have the opportunity to play for him, I will, but it's just going to take me trying out for the team."
Krzyzewski said in October that he texts with Rose to keep track of how he's doing and was excited about the Chicago product being able to represent Team USA on the world stage.
"Oh yeah," Krzyzewski told ESPNChicago.com in October. "There's a process that [USA Basketball chairman] Jerry Colangelo will orchestrate all that. But it's not just 2016; we have to play in Spain next summer. It used to be the world championships and now it will be called the World Cup. And Derrick was our starting point guard when we won the world championships in Istanbul in 2010 and did a really good job. He was only 21 years old at that time and probably would have been on our Olympic team in London."
Rose has been traveling with the Bulls over the past week and is slowly starting to do more work on the floor. While Thibodeau stressed that the former league MVP still has a lot of work to do, he seems encouraged by Rose's progress.
"He's shooting now," Thibodeau said. "He's coming along fine. His spirit's strong. He had two workouts today, but he still has a long way to go. It's important for him to go step by step, be patient, and just regain his health."