Thibodeau views USA Basketball as 'perfect setting' for Rose comeback


Before he ever touched the basketball court for Team USA, there were questions about Derrick Rose's participation in the FIBA Basketball World Cup. 

Several weeks into the process, USA Basketball appears like the perfect proving ground for Rose, who is in the process of returning from ACL and meniscus injuries. What makes Team USA the best possible launching pad for Rose is that he gets to play without the pressure of carrying a team. With so many stars on the court with him, Rose has blended in well and looked spry on the basketball court. 

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The best season of Rose's career came fresh off a USA Bas

ketball experience in 2010. Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who also is an assistant with USA Basketball, is well aware of that. In a conversation with Sam Smith of, he discussed the positive effect training camp has had on Rose thus far. 

“This is the perfect setting for him,” Thibodeau said. “I thought his first (USA team) experience in 2010 was the springboard to his MVP season. All summer long he’s gotten more comfortable. He went through the comeback last year and I think he learned a lot from it. I love the way he’s playing. He’s finding the rhythm of game and playing to his strengths and recognizing who’s on the floor with him and what their strengths are.

"He made several good plays, particularly against the zone in the fourth quarter. He’s shaking some rust off, but his explosiveness is back. He’s playing well on both sides of the ball. I think he’s in a really good place. It’s unfortunate what he’s gone through. But I think that adversity has made him a lot stronger. It was really seeds of growth for him. I love where he is mentally and physically right now."

Rose was keen on the idea of starting his second comeback with USA Basketball. One selling point was the opportunity to play against the best guards in basketball on a daily basis. 

“It’s something he really wanted to do,” Thibodeau said of Rose's USA Basketball participation. “It’s a chance for him to measure where he really is. He’s not carrying the burden of the entire team. For Derrick, there are so many positives. I think this will be great preparation for the season. We have a baseline and we know there’s a long way up. His attitude and approach are terrific and I think that will serve him well. I’m very pleased where he is now.”

[H/T: ProBasketballTalk]