When Kevin Durant pulled out of the FIBA World Cup last week, Derrick Rose’s responsibilities on Team USA significantly increased. As coach Mike Krzyzewski recently admitted, Team USA is changing its strategy to a more guard-heavy attack and Derrick Rose, as the likely starter, will be a focal point in that.
Rose clearly sees a lot of positives in his new role, saying on Friday that the Team USA experience will make him a better leader.
More from Rose following USAB practice: “This is my chance to become a better leader, being more vocal in the locker room and on the floor.”
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) August 15, 2014
This is obviously great news for the Chicago Bulls organization that have made additions this offseason (most notably the signings of Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic) to put a championship-level supporting cast around Rose in 2014-15.
If Rose can return to his pre-injuries form, stay healthy and make advancements as a leader, there’s no reason why Chicago shouldn’t challenge LeBron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers as the best team in the Eastern Conference.
On top of that, Rose’s improved leadership skills should help him lead Team USA to a World Cup title. Even without Durant, Paul George and others, the United States remain favorites to win the Cup and Rose is a big reason why.
The World Cup begins August 30 in Spain.