Derrick Rose will not withdraw from Team USA as it continues preparations for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, according to a report from Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
The three-time All-Star and one-time MVP point guard with the Chicago Bulls has been limited to 10 games over the past two seasons because of knee injuries.
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The gruesome leg fracture suffered by Indiana Pacers forward Paul George has prompted questions over whether players might pull out of Team USA.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant officially withdrew last week.
“Oh yeah, when you lose players like that there’s definitely going to be some changes, but at the same time we just can’t quit and go home. We’ve got to go out here and compete. Coming in here today, guys that are still on the team have a drive and are still trying to make the team, so it seems like it didn’t take anybody down,” Rose said, adding, “The way that I’m playing and at the pace that I’m playing, I think that it should be fine.
“It’s going to help my game, it’s totally going to help my game because coming out here my job is to pick-up full-court, harass the ball and get guys an open shot. Out here it’s just knocking down open jump shots. That’s why you saw me shooting after practice a little bit, just set shots, and just trying to have that confidence knowing that if I’m open I’ve got an opportunity to shoot the ball. If not, drive and make someone help so it’s an easy opportunity for someone else,” he went on to explain. “Just playing pick-up — I don’t play pick-up during the summer — so just getting that rhythm, coming in here and knocking that rust off. My biggest thing is not turning over the ball. I didn’t have any turnovers today and we won that little scrimmage, so I guess I’m doing good.
“In my mind I always knew that I had a legit chance to make the team, and I’m happy that they brought me along, I’m happy that I made the last cuts, and just trying to stay positive, like I said, and every day coming here and just playing with these guys has given me an extra boost with my confidence. Just letting me know that I’m ready.”
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Team USA is training in Chicago this week and will face Brazil in a scrimmage Saturday at the United Center.
The World Cup begins on Aug. 30 in Spain and runs through Sept. 14.
Team USA's first game is Aug. 30 against Finland. The other members of the United States' group are Turkey, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand and Ukraine.
- Chris Johnson