Perhaps the biggest storyline to come from Team USA basketball training camp in Las Vegas is how seemingly everyone associated with the program (Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Kevin Durant, etc.) has raved about Derrick Rose’s play.
Now, even more people are praising Rose, including USA Basketball managing director and chairman Jerry Colangelo, who says Rose is playing close to the level he was during his MVP season.
From Michael Lee of the Washington Post:
“The first three days here, he has shown that he hasn’t missed much in terms of a beat,” Colangelo said. “That’s very, very exciting for all of us. We didn’t know what to expect. So you’re surprised in a positive way, like, ‘Wow.’ He’s really pretty close to who he was and that bodes well for the Bulls, the NBA, and certainly for us, right now, with USA Basketball.”
Rose’s coach in Chicago and Coach K’s assistant for Team USA Tom Thibodeau also spoke highly of Rose.
“I love the way he’s playing right now. Because he’s showing a lot of patience, he’s making good decisions, he’s finding the rhythm of the game. I think when he plays like that, the game is easy for everybody,” Thibodeau said. “I think last year he may have been a little bit too anxious. He wanted to come back and do it all in one day. I think this has been … a much better approach. That’s who Derrick is. I think he learns from every situation. The adversity I think has made him a lot stronger mentally.”
With all the positive-Derrick Rose vibes coming from camp, it’s hard not to think that Rose is a lock to make the Team USA roster and is in store for a monster season in the NBA this season.
Considering the Eastern Conference is wide open this year, a return to form from Derrick Rose very well could result in an NBA Finals appearance for the Bulls in 2014-15.