By K.C. Johnson Chicago Tribune
Now, the only question becomes whether Derrick Rose reclaims his starting spot.
Rose, the starting point guard when USA Basketball captured gold at the 2010 World Championships in Turkey, was named one of 12 finalists for the FIBA World Cup that begins Aug. 30 in Spain.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced the roster overnight Friday. It contains Rose, Irving, DeMarcus Cousins, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Rudy Gay, James Harden, Mason Plumlee and Klay Thompson.
“Since taking over the USA Basketball men’s national team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we’ve gone through,” Colangelo said. “I can’t stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist. I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent; each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end, it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing.”
After sitting out Wednesday’s exhibition in New York because of fatigue and soreness, Rose came off the bench to spell Kyrie Irving in Friday’s exhibition victory over Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden.
Team USA was scheduled to leave for Spain on Saturday afternoon and open preliminary play against Finland in Bilbao on Aug. 30.
Rose’s inclusion in the final roster followed a bumpy week in which Rose missed two practices and one game, which seemed to set off alarm bells for a player who has suffered two season-ending knee surgeries. But Rose all along privately expressed confidence, as did Bulls coach and Team USA assistant coach Tom Thibodeau.
“I think Derrick feels very confident,” Krzyzewski told reporters in New York following Friday’s game. “Thought he played great (Friday). And these guys want to play with him. Part of getting back is to be around a group of peers. These guys are peers who want (Rose)to be really good. Hopefully, that will help Derrick as he gets ready to keep participating in this, but also for the NBA season.”
The final cuts were former Bull Kyle Korver, Damian Lillard, Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward.