Previous ArticlesRose is born again with the USA (Basketball)
Rest and recovery day for Rose
by Sam Smith
Posted on Aug 19
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Derrick Rose didn’t practice with USA Basketball Tuesday in their second day at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Relax, he’s fine, but this, obviously, is going to be an ongoing narrative given Rose’s medical history the last two years.
“I feel great actually,” Rose said in an interview with NBA TV, which was televising the practice. “My body is good. I’m not aching. So that’s a good sign. Just trying to take it day by day. Today, I’m not practicing, just getting a little bit of rest. Getting my legs under me a little bit more. Today is like a recovery day for me.
“Just want to thank the staff for that,” Rose added with a laugh as he clearly was relaxed and enjoying the experience.
Rose sat out for the second straight day, though USA coach Mike Krzyzewski called off Monday’s practice when the team arrived in upstate New York. There were light drills Tuesday for the cadets to view, though the message was as much to the USA players about the benefits and significance of representing your country. Rose wore a gray golf shirt and shorts with his knees wrapped in ice packs as the players mostly shot around and had a light scrimmage.
Rose played 24:11 in Saturday’s 95-78 exhibition game win over the team from Brazil, the third most minutes among the USA players. The U.S. team will play the Dominican Republic Wednesday and Puerto Rico Friday, both at Madison Square Garden. Rose is expected to play, though given the heavy schedule of games ahead and the need to reduce the roster to 12, he could sit out a game with practice and an exhibition game in the Canary Islands next week.
“I talked to the USA people; (it’s) strictly precautionary,” said ESPN and NBA TV analyst Fran Fraschilla, who was on the broadcast. “Derrick is finding himself back in better and better condition. But there is no reason to rush him. He’s got two weeks of basketball ahead of him and they’re going to play a lot of games in a short period of time, I think, nine games in 15 days. There’s no reason to push him when they now know he is getting close to being the Derrick Rose everybody knows.
Bulls officials with Rose also said there was no cause for concern and Rose could have worked out. But it’s advisable not to push him after he worked so hard leading up to the Chicago game Aug. 16.
Rose was asked by the NBA TV hosts about the outpouring of support for him in that game.
“When it was going on I was too caught up in the moment,” said Rose. “I had to go out and perform, do my job. But just looking back at it, it was kind of amazing, having everyone come out, really show love. The whole city really had a buzz going on throughout the city. I just feel blessed so many people came out and showed so much love and so many fans came out to show support to the USA team.
“Of course, I feel great,” Rose added. “Physically I’m fine, but I think my IQ of the game has gotten better, knowing the plays, knowing the strategies the coaching are running in the NBA game. Just learning, looking at the defense, calling out plays, learning players’ tendencies, learning coaches’ tendencies. My game is totally different and this is the most I ever watched basketball in my entire life.”
Asked about his coach, Tom Thibodeau, a USA assistant whom Rose has been close with during the USA camp, Rose observed with a laugh, “He looks weird with that (baseball) hat on. I said this earlier during training camp: I’m seeing a whole other side to him. I’m happy that he’s getting a chance to come out here and coach the great players we have on our team and he’s learning from everyone. This is a learning experience for him, too, being around so many great coaches and seeing a different game and seeing how we practice. So it’s going to help him with his coaching job, too.”
Rose said it’s been an unusual, but worthwhile and exhilarating experience to visit West Point and see the cadets and their demanding routine.
“At first when we got here we went to the cemetery,” said Rose. “We were there like 20, 30 minutes. Heard a couple of family stories about some of the people who passed. Everyone here at the academy did a great job with honoring them. We went to a pool (training) site. They (cadets) had to carry their backpacks and swim through the water, and then the indoor training course where we saw cadets run the whole course within two minutes and that was amazing.
“They only get like 20 minutes to eat,” Rose added about the expedited mess hall meals. “I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was watching how fast they eat. They really have to do a great job of how they clean up their space. I love it here with the discipline. That’s going to help you in life; I like it.
“With me with this team the great thing about is I don’t have to use that much energy,” Rose added about his role with USA Basketball. “I don’t have to shoot any shots. I have great scorers. I’m just trying to come out and play hard, play hard defensively and get people open shots because it’s going to help me get in that groove as a point guard and help me pick the game apart. I’m very excited about (the upcoming season), but not as excited as the fans back in Chicago. Everyone is getting ready, everyone’s getting their parties together. It should be very exciting for not only the Bulls but the for the city. Because we need it.”