Rose suffers no lack of confidence in return to the floor


VIDEO: Take a slow-motion look at Derrick Rose at Team USA’s practice Monday

LAS VEGAS – For several players at USA Basketball training camp, Monday was about making a first impression on managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski in an attempt to earn a spot on the World Cup roster.

For the few that seemingly have guaranteed spots, it was the first step in getting ready for the tournament that begins on Aug. 30. And for the 12 young players on the Select Team, it was about building equity with USA brass for future consideration.

For Derrick Rose, it was much more than that. It was a big step in his return to the game after his second knee surgery.

By all accounts, Rose is back.

“He looked good,” Damian Lillard said afterward. “Athletic, explosive, strong.”

There were visions of vintage Rose, but he didn’t need to go all that hard or for all that long as the 19 players on the U.S. roster and 12 on the Select Team scrimmaged on the campus of UNLV. With this team, there’s always another great player ready to sub in, and Rose worried more about running the offense than trying to prove to people that he was the Derrick Rose of old.

“He can just fit in,” Bulls coach and USA assistant Tom Thibodeau said. “He doesn’t have the burden of having to score a lot of points or make a lot of plays. Just run the team. I think he’ll find his rhythm here.”

Though knocking the rust off and getting his wind back may be issues, Rose isn’t suffering from any lack of confidence. He didn’t need this day to prove anything to himself either. Though nobody on the outside has seen him play since November, he knows the work he’s put in to get to this point.

“I’ve been preparing for this for a long time,” Rose said. “It’s probably big to everyone else because they probably haven’t seen me. But I dedicated my whole summer for this moment.”

And where he is in regard to getting his game back?

“I’m there. I’m not worried about that. My confidence is very high. And that’s the only thing you might see this year, that my confidence level is through the roof.”

He feels that he’s a different player now, that his injuries allowed him to sculpt his body with Bulls director of sports performance Jen Swanson, and that time has made him a smarter floor general.

“[Time away from the game] was a chance for me to really work on my whole body,” he said, “get my legs strong, get my upper body strong, and just take advantage of it.”

Experience has taught him how stay in control.

“I’m able to control my body a little bit more, being smart with my speed instead of just running wild out there,” he said. “I’ve become a smarter player, but I’m mad it took me seven years to learn that.”

And there are lessons to be learned from last year, when he came back from ACL surgery and was injured again 10 games into the season.

“I wanted to prove everybody wrong at that time,” he said. “I just wanted it too bad. This time around, I just know I got to let the game come to me, go out there and just play. Usually when I play my type of game, something positive comes out of it.”

Something positive could be a trip to The Finals. With LeBron James‘ move back to Cleveland and with some key additions, the Bulls should be the favorites to win the Eastern Conference.

“I think we have a contender,” Rose said, adding that he’s “riding with whatever decision” the Bulls’ front office might make in regard to trade talks for Kevin Love.

Love or no Love, Rose is the biggest piece of the Bulls’ puzzle. They desperately need him to generate some offense after ranking in the bottom seven of the league on that end of the floor each of the last two seasons.

So Monday wasn’t just a big day for Rose, the Bulls, and the National Team. It was a big day for the entire league. And if Rose can continue working with the National Team through the World Cup, there should be no more rust or conditioning issues when training camp comes around.

But making the final roster is not a sure thing.

Rose has some serious competition at the point guard position in camp. Along with Rose, All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Lillard and John Wall are all competing for three or four spots on the roster.

Rose does have a couple of advantages. First, he was the starting point guard on the 2010 team that won the World Championship, and past history means a lot to Colangelo and Krzyzewski.

Second, Thibodeau is on the staff. And he would certainly love to see Rose work off some of his rust before training camp.

The last time Rose played for the National Team, he followed it up by winning the 2010-11 MVP award. On that U.S. team that won gold in Istanbul, he was teammates with Tyson Chandler, who used the summer to get stronger after a couple of injury-plagued seasons with the Hornets and Bobcats. Chandler went on to be a critical component of the Dallas Mavericks’ run to a championship, citing his time with the U.S. as a key to his comeback season.

Monday may have been a big step in Rose’s comeback. He’s worked hard to get here and he has shown no doubts or reservations about where he’s gong.

“I know how special I am as a player and I know what I still can do.”

26 Comments

  1. god bless D.ROSE! CHITOWN for life!

  2. jodyfukswitmacdre says:

    Can a rose grow from concrete? Will noah get the arc built in time? Will kirk get beamed up by Scotty? Will a hit of gasol be better than a swig of booze? Will tom ever catch jerry? That and much more on the next episode of the windy days of our lives.

  3. Karlo Garcia says:

    Hopefully his body is at least healthy,physically but mentally Derrick Rose is doing good.

  4. ASD says:

    He looks a little bit or more like Wesley in White Man Can’t Jump :>

  5. No Joke says:

    D. Rose is back. ‘Nuff said!

  6. ace dela Rosa says:

    The EAST and the NBA is better if DRose and Dwade are not injured and competing

  7. BigEarn says:

    Please don’t make headlines starting “Rose suffers…” anymore! Please, think of the heart of all Bulls and Rose fans.

  8. theholyspectator says:

    he may be good now and prolly next season and season after that but the style he plays…its going to wear his knees down and effect him long term…hes gonna have to learn to be an outside – inside kinda player..he has to learn how to be a sharp shooter and then once he establishes his outside game that will give some room for him to drive to the hole without takin hits and increasing his chances of hurting his knees…

  9. SEE_RED says:

    First step, DRose! Way to go! : )

  10. Knick Nation says:

    y’all just be patient mane.
    i really want d rose to come back as much as anybody

    Buh fool me once shame on you
    Fool me twice shame on me (for believing again)

    if he gets inguried this year, HE’ DONE..!!!!!!

  11. Celtic Pride says:

    Wish him the best. I hate to see any athlete cut short due to injuries. But I’ll still be rooting against you when you face my C’s.

  12. Joshua says:

    Do your thing, D.R. Let’s go, Bulls!!!

  13. dylan says:

    God bless D. Rose….

  14. Jay says:

    I see all the drose haters on this thread.

  15. JR says:

    give him a chance before you slaughter him I LOVE DROSE he will prove all of you wrong

  16. Ed says:

    You may be confident all you want Rose but unfortunately at your young age your knees are done.

  17. J says:

    Some of you people need to learn how to read the article and not rush down the page to leave a comment.

  18. Jame Cab says:

    Hoping that DRose will still make it this coming season too. If everything turns out well in FIBA, maybe in NBA too next season. Just don’t exploit yourself DRose.

  19. justin says:

    Where does this sound familiar…….
    oh yeah, last year……. right before he injured himself….. AGAIN
    100$ within first 20 games… any takers?

  20. Clips says:

    We’ve said it again and again but …

    Unless he tones down his style, he’s going to get injured again. His body can’t sustain that “explosiveness”.

    Doesn’t matter how confident he says he is, it’s his body that we have no confidence in.

    Sad.

    • Nickmoses05 says:

      Did you even read the article? That is what he has been working on. His body and his game so that he does not injure himself again. You are the same type of douchebag that said sean livingston couldn’t do it either right. Now look at him. Man I can’t stand you haters. Get a life. Talking about you said it again and again. He got injured the second time because of a wrong movement he made. Not his explosiveness. You sound so stupid.

  21. Nahman says:

    Why is lebron not in USA team

  22. Blah Blah Blah says:

    Didn’t he say the same thing last season? lol