LAS VEGAS—Derrick Rose was named as one of the 19 players who will participate in the upcoming national team mini-camp July in Las Vegas prior to the FIBA World Cup, USA Basketball announced Monday morning.
Despite Rose previously telling Yahoo! Sports last month that he was uncertain that he would participate, it was always believed that the former league MVP would try out for the team, something bolstered by not only the comments of Bulls head coach and national-team assistant Tom Thibodeau shortly thereafter, but USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski in a conference call Monday.
“Well, we'd like to see him play like the Derrick of old, one of the best players in the world, an MVP in the NBA," Krzyzewski said. "What we've heard is he's in great shape. We'll see how he'll do in five-on-five; on the fifth day we'll do intra-squad. Hopefully he's going to be in top shape. Derrick's a great player, a great guy. I know representing his country in Istanbul as one of our starting guards was a great experience for him. Hopefully this will be a launching pad for him to have a great NBA season.”
That is what occurred in 2010, when Rose played on USA Basketball’s FIBA World Championships team that won a gold medal, in a prelude to his NBA MVP season. This time around, the point guard is coming back from his second season-ending knee surgery and will compete players at his position such as Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Portland’s Damian Lillard, all of whom became All-Stars during Rose’s last few injury-plagued campaigns.
According to reports, Washington’s John Wall could later be invited to try out, further increasing the competition between young floor generals. However, Rose’s close friend Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City declined to participate, which makes sense, given his own knee injuries, including three surgeries in the recent past.
Other players who are slated to be in Las Vegas for the opening of the training camp, which begins July 28 and concludes with an Aug. 1 intra-squad scrimmage on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, are big men DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings, Chicago native Anthony Davis of the Pelicans, Pistons center Andre Drummond, Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried, Clippers power forward Blake Griffin and Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love. Invited wing players include Washington shooting guard Bradley Beal, Toronto swingman DeMar DeRozan, reigning league MVP Kevin Durant of the Thunder, Pacers small forward Paul George, Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward, Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver, newly-acquired Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons and Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson.