As Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose wraps up what has been a pretty extensive global trip in the Philippines for a guy who has been recovering from ACL surgery for a year and a half, two interesting bits of news have come out. First off, Rose wants to play for Team USA at the first ever FIBA World Cup in 2014:
“I mean, if they pick me, yeah,” Rose said Monday in Manila when asked if he wants to join Team USA. “If they select me on the team, it will be an honor.”
According to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, Rose can still be a part of Team USA, as he “qualifies in a lot of ways” for the national squad.
“He knows our system. He's been part of USA Basketball. He's a terrific guy. He's a great competitor,” Colangelo told USA Today back in July. “We have to wait and see what he looks like. How quickly does he get back to that level, and then it's going to be up to him as to whether he wants to be with us next summer.”
Rose stressed that he is more than willing to join the team.
“I definitely will be on the team if Coach K (Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski) wants me,” he said.
There's not much controversy here. If Rose comes back healthy, he'll be himself, or better, and deserve to be on the team (despite a glut of qualified guards). If he's not, playing next summer won't be a good idea for him.
Quick list for consideration, though: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Kyrie Irving, Mike Conley, Jrue Holiday, Damian Lillard. A healthy Rose jumps back to probably second on that list behind Paul. He'll get in, but his inclusion will probably bump out someone very worthy of a spot, like Kyrie Irving.
Also, Rose told reporters at ABS-CBNNews.com that he doesn't think there will be any change to his game, but that he is trying to improve the range on his jumper.
“As far as shooting, I think that's the only thing I need to work on,” he said. “The only thing I've been working on is shooting longer shots, because I think if people have to come out and stick with me a little bit further, it opens up the court a little bit more, and give me enough room to create and get my guys open.”
“I think I want to be more efficient when I go out there and play,” Rose added. “(I want to) be able to control the whole game, with me being the point guard and having the ball for majority of the game.”
“But I think I haven't changed anything,” he stressed. “I play the same way. The only thing that's gonna change is my confidence level.”
Rose can say that however he wants, but an adjustment to being more of a perimeter player was inevitable. The reality is that all guards transition to playing further out as their career progresses because taking contact hurts, and falling down hurts, and both of those things take away from your endurance and health. Rose had already started making those adjustments before he went down. Now it's just time for him to take that next step.
The question will be how much of a shift there will be and if he can be effective enough from long-range. Dwyane Wade never became a great three-point shooter, and that's contributed to his consistent injuries, even without the trauma that Rose went through. It's just one of several things to watch when Rose finally makes his return to the NBA.