By Kristen Fazio @Kristen_Fazio on July 21, 2014
When players gather in Las Vegas for Team USA camp on July 28, Derrick Rose will be among the players on the 19-man roster. After much talk about whether or not he would participate, Rose will have a chance to show that not only is he healthy, but also that he is ready to compete for one of the 12 World Cup roster spots. These are five reasons why Team USA will be good for Derrick Rose.
Rose hasn't played competitive basketball since November 2013, and has only played in 50 NBA games the last three seasons. Competing with some of the NBA's best players for a roster spot should reignite Rose's competitive edge. Other point guards vying for a spot are Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard.
If Rose gains anything from Team USA, the Chicago Bulls can only hope that his participation at least knocks off some of the rust of not playing for over eight months. Rose has spent the offseason shooting, playing in five-on-five games and even participating in summer league practices with the Bulls, but nothing compares to playing in an actual game.
One positive of being on such a talented team with players such as Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and James Harden is that Rose doesn't have to be "the guy" and shoulder the scoring load. Rose will have the opportunity to play within himself, run the offense and be a facilitator like he did in the 2010 World Cup (previously known as the World Championship), where he averaged 7.2 points and 3.2 assists.
As far as long-term implications, making the World Cup team would put him into consideration for the 2016 Olympic team. Due to his ACL injury in April 2012, Rose was unable to participate in the 2012 Olympics in London. Winning a gold medal is one of Rose's goals, and he still has the chance to do so -- barring any injuries, of course.
Most importantly, the World Cup would prepare Rose for the 2014-15 NBA season. The World Cup runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 14, which would lead right up to when the Bulls begin training camp in late September. Unlike last season, the World Cup would provide Rose with a head start instead of having to knock off the rust in the preseason and the beginning of the regular season. After participating in the 2010 World Cup, Rose won the 2011 NBA MVP.
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