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Thibs reiterates Rose for Team USA

1/24/2014

CHICAGO -- Tom Thibodeau wants Derrick Rose to get as much game action as possible this summer. That's why he reiterated before Friday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers that he would like to see Rose play for Team USA if he is medically cleared to do so.

Rose was one of 28 players who made the Team USA pool released Thursday and said in a statement through USA Basketball that he would like to play. Thibodeau, an assistant on the team, is in favor of such a decision.

"Oh, absolutely," Thibodeau said. "If he's healthy enough, I think it would be great for him, and I know he feels the same way. I thought that whole experience was tremendous for him. I know how strongly USA Basketball feels about him. So if his health is there I think it makes a lot of sense."

Thibodeau isn't concerned that Rose, who has already been ruled out for the season by the Bulls, would be putting the organization at any kind of risk. His belief is that if Rose is healthy, he should play.

"Obviously, his health is the priority," Thibodeau said. "If he's moving along well, he has to continue to be patient, but if he's cleared to play and that's the best thing for him, then I think he should do it."

Thibodeau has already seen the benefits of Rose playing in international competition. In the summer of 2010, Rose was the point guard for the USA team that won the World Championships in Istanbul. He came into training camp and ended up winning the league MVP that season.

"In 2010, that summer, when he had the opportunity to practice and play [in the World Championships], I thought he hit the ground running," Thibodeau said. "I thought that was great for him because you're going against pros every day, and then it's high-level competition. I think you get an edge about you when you do stuff like that. But the priority has to be, he has to be completely healthy and that's what we'll look at first."