Bulls’ Derrick Rose has chance to earn USA Basketball spot

Injured Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose sits on the bench during the Bulls' game against the Milwaukee Bucks on April 4. 

Kamil Krzaczynski/AP

If Derrick Rose wants to try, U.S. basketball officials are eager to see.

Prove he is indeed healthy, and Rose could end up playing in the World Cup of Basketball.

"I think he needs to find out just where he is physically," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Wednesday of the Chicago Bulls guard.

"So he is welcome to come to our camp, he is welcome to show us where he is. I think if nothing else, worst-case scenario, he practices and sees that he’s either not ready or he is ready. And if he’s ready, he has a chance to make the team."

Rose had surgery in November to repair torn cartilage in his right knee, and the Bulls said he would miss the rest of the season. But he’s been running for a while and taking part in some practice drills, and both Chicago and USA Basketball coaches are interested in him doing more this summer.

"Chicago is encouraging him and encouraging us that they feel this would be good for him," Colangelo said.


Rose was the starting point guard for the Americans when they won the world championship in 2010. He tore his ACL in his left knee in May 2012, costing him a chance to play in the London Olympics, and sustained the less serious injury to the other knee not long after finally returning to start this season.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is an assistant on U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski’s staff, and Colangelo says the Americans will get reports on Rose. Colangelo may even decide to look for himself before training camp opens in Las Vegas.

"I know I’m going to be in Chicago once or twice before we go to camp in July," Colangelo said, "and so I haven’t put that on the radar screen yet, but that’s something that’s very much a consideration."

If Rose does play, he would get a game in his home arena, as the Americans announced an exhibition schedule Wednesday that includes a game at the United Center.

The U.S. will play Brazil there on Aug. 16, before games at Madison Square Garden in New York against the Dominican Republic on Aug. 20 and Puerto Rico two days later. The training tour wraps up against Slovenia on Aug. 26 at the Canary Islands.

The Americans will begin their training in Las Vegas and will play an intrasquad exhibition game at the Thomas & Mack Center on Aug. 1. Colangelo said they could leave that camp with somewhere between 12 and 15 players. They have to get down to 12 before the tournament that runs Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 in Spain.

The U.S. should have a much stronger team than the one that won the world championship four years ago. The 28-player roster pool the Americans named in January includes a number of players who competed there or in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics,

"Are we further along? Absolutely," Colangelo said. "The fact that Kevin Durant and Kevin Love stepped forward so early last summer when we had our camp in Las Vegas and said they were playing in the World Cup, followed by (Russell) Westbrook and (James) Harden, said a lot."

Colangelo met with Krzyzewski recently in Las Vegas and again at the Final Four. The game in Chicago will be a homecoming for both of them — and perhaps Rose. Colangelo said there would be some special events while the Americans are there.

"We want to celebrate the game. Chicago has a rich history in basketball," Colangelo said. "Players, coaches, a lot of people have done extremely well in the game of basketball who came out of Chicago. Coach K and myself are two, but there’s a lot of history there. So we want to celebrate it we want to do some things to help lift the spirits of the city a little bit."