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Rose taking a dip in USA Basketball’s pool
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Jan 23
Bulls guard Derrick Rose’s selection for the 2014-16 USA Men’s National Team pool was the first step in what could be a two-year process.
But if all goes well, it could ultimately land him on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team which will compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the court this summer and having the chance to represent our country,” said Rose in a statement provided to USA Basketball. “It’s an honor to play for Team USA and Coach K.”
The first challenge for USA Basketball will be the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, scheduled for Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. Rose is one of seven players who were members of the 2010 USA World Championship team that won gold.
“It’s an honor and a privilege for Derrick to be part of the USA Basketball program,” said Bulls general manager Gar Forman. “Derrick enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in 2010 at the World Championships and it showed that following season when he elevated his level of play. It presents an opportunity to compete with and against the world’s elite players while representing your country.”
As USA Basketball chairman and national team managing director Jerry Colangelo and USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski explained, this latest collection of players form a group that remains fluid.
Colangelo specifically discussed that there has historically been turnover for each competition and that while he expects at least six Olympians from the 2012 games in London to compete in 2016, it remains to be determined.
“One of the variables is injuries,” said Colangelo. “You’ve got [Russell] Westbrook who’s been injured this year and certainly Derrick Rose we’re not sure about. That’s a big variable. That would change considerably if we have any additional injuries before we go to camp next summer. Therefore, we have a fluid roster. There are some players who didn’t make this roster that are right there on the cusp. We continue to watch players perform and prepare ourselves just in case.”
Krzyzewski echoed those comments, saying, “The pool is fluid. Nothing is concrete because life is fluid, especially life in the NBA.”
While the roster remains a bit of an unknown, Krzyzewski said he loves the “three Cs” with which USA Basketball has come to associate itself—continuity, commitment and camaraderie.
“The continuity that so many of our veterans are giving us by coming back; although guys like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, some of our veterans, are not going to participate [in the 2014 World Cup of Basketball in Spain], that’s our choice,” stated Krzyzewski. “Next summer, they want to continue to be part of our program and that type of continuity, having 11 of our 12 Olympians from London to continue to go forward. Kobe [Bryant] is the only one that didn’t continue to go forward.
“[There is] the commitment that these guys have shown,” Krzyzewski added. “The new guys, their commitment to their country’s basketball program is truly amazing and it filters down to every level of basketball in our country.
“The last one is the camaraderie that has been developed over the nine-year period,” Krzyzewski continued. “These guys are teammates and they’re USA Basketball players. The new guys coming in have been a part of some aspect of USA Basketball either as a youngster or in a development type of camp.”
Rose isn’t the only one with Bulls ties who will be a part of USA Basketball.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau will serve as an assistant coach, along with USA Basketball and Syracuse University veteran coach Jim Boeheim and New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams.
“I don’t look at being the head coach; I feel like I’m co-coaches with all these guys,” said Krzyzewski. “That was [Mike] D’Antoni and [Nate] McMillan before and now Tom, Jim and Monty. We’ll form a good coaching team.”