Steve Rosenbloom: Derrick Rose should just hobble off USA basketball roster

 

Chicago Tribune

Point No. 1: Derrick Rose shouldn't be playing for USA Basketball in this silly world tournament that has already cost the Pacers next season and maybe the rest of the decade.

Point No. 2: Even if he only works out in the summer for the Bulls and even if the only games he plays are for the Bulls, Rose still is going to have knee soreness after two knee operations in two years.

Point No. 3: Rose still shouldn't be playing for USA Basketball in this silly world tournament because there's no need to rush the soreness for a team that doesn't matter.

Rose missed his second consecutive day of practice Tuesday because of knee soreness. Naturally, everyone wants to play down the issue, starting with Rose himself.

"There's nothing wrong with rest," said Rose, who hasn't practiced since playing 24 minutes against Brazil in the United Center on Saturday night. "It ain't like it's the season. I'm not worried about it."

OK. Fine. But then Rose offered this: "I'm just trying to take my time and get rest because we have a long schedule ahead of us."

Let me try to connect the dots: Rose needed extra rest after 24 competitive minutes against Brazil and he took the opportunity to rest because it's not the regular NBA season, but actually he took the opportunity to rest because USA Basketball has a long, demanding schedule coming up quickly, and he's trying to get in shape to handle a lot of games in a short time for something that doesn't mean squat.

To recap, people: USA Basketball is not the group that gave Rose that contract worth nearly $100 million, and the only long schedule that matters to the group that in fact gave Rose all that money starts next spring. Period. That's it. The playoffs. A title. Nothing else.

But Rose will play more competitive playoff-like games for USA Basketball this summer than he has for the Bulls since 2011. Bulls fans can send thank-you notes to Rose and the idiotic and ungrateful inner circle leading him.

And now get this: Even the USA Basketball bunch that is leeching the NBA's top talent and risking NBA seasons is wondering how much Rose can handle after the last two days of virtual inertia.

USA Basketball won't tell you that the risk is too great for a stupid reward that isn't even an Olympic gold medal, and even if it was an Olympic competition, who cares?

But basketball observers who haven't undergone lobotomies get it after LeBron James refused, Paul George suffered a compound right leg fracture, Kevin Durant quit, and DeMarcus Cousins suffered a bruised knee.

Point No. 4: Rose ought to get the bleep off this USA Basketball roster while still healthy enough to make the Bulls a threat to James' Cavaliers next spring.

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