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Thibs hopeful Derrick Rose can play for USA Basketball

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose looks from bench during second half an NBA preseasbasketball game against Milwaukee Bucks Chicago Monday Oct.

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose looks on from the bench during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. Chicago won 105-84. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

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Updated: January 23, 2014 11:53AM



The last time Derrick Rose participated in USA Basketball, the Bulls point guard eventually walked away with the 2011 NBA MVP.

Call it a dose of confidence that Rose never let go of that season.

Tom Thibodeau would love a repeat performance.

Rose was one of 28 players named for the 2014-16 USA national team pool on Thursday, and if his surgically-repaired right knee can respond in time, he could play in this summer’s FIBA World Cup in Spain.

“Well, I’m hopeful that he will,’’ Thibodeau said of Rose on Wednesday night. “But a lot depends on where his health is. But I thought it was a great experience for him in the past. I know how much he enjoyed it. I know how USA Basketball feels about him. I think it’s a great honor and a privilege, and hopefully it’ll work out.”

Rose was a member of the gold medal team that won the World Championships in the summer leading into the 2010-11 season, and he helped guide the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in the wake of that.

“It challenges guys,’’ Thibodeau said of the USA Basketball experience. “I think it’s beneficial to all the players. I know Derrick, my first year when he played that summer in the World Games, he hit the ground running. He had a great season. He was the MVP. But I thought that experience was invaluable to him.’’

The next step in the pool process for Rose would be showing he’s healthy enough to qualify for the team, and USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo addressed that in a teleconference, singling out both injured guards Rose and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.

“Certainly Derrick Rose, we’re not sure about,’’ Colangelo said. “We have a fluid roster. We continue to watch players and prepare ourselves.’’

Thibodeau was named an assistant coach on the staff last season, so if Rose can give it a go there will be a very familiar face watching him closely.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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