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Derrick Rose among 16 finalists for Team USA

Updated: August 5, 2014 11:24PM



It hasn’t been a bad way for Derrick Rose to spend a summer so far.

After tearing up rookies and youngsters in Summer League practices with the Bulls in June, Rose’s return took another step forward when USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo announced Tuesday that Rose was one of 16 finalists for Team USA’s World Cup roster. Twelve players will make the team that will compete in the tournament, which begins late this month in Spain.

‘‘In Derrick’s case, Derrick was sensational all [last] week,’’ USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a teleconference. ‘‘He did that every day. He was fast, strong and decisive. He really created an air of excitement for the team.

‘‘We were all anxious to see who he was [coming into training camp last week]. And who he is is very, very good. We’re all ecstatic for him.’’

Rose and Team USA will resume training Aug. 14 in Chicago, with an exhibition game against Brazil scheduled for Aug. 16 at the United Center. That will be the first time Bulls fans will be able to see Rose play since he suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee last November.

As Krzyzewski pointed out, Rose will headline a number of Chicago storylines that week. Big man Anthony Davis played his high school basketball in Chicago, as did Krzyzewski, who said it was an ‘‘honor’’ for him to return home. There’s also Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who is an assistant to Krzyzew- ski, and former Bulls marksman Kyle Korver, who also is among the 16 finalists.

The other finalists are Kevin Durant, James Harden, Stephen Curry, Mason Plumlee, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Chandler Parsons and Klay Thompson.

One player no longer in the running for a spot on the World Cup team is Paul George, who suffered a horrific leg injury in the intrasquad game Friday in Las Vegas and might miss the entire season.

‘‘Until the injury to one of our players, Paul George, we had a great week,’’ Colangelo said. ‘‘We really did, maybe one of the best weeks in USA Basketball.

‘‘We’ve been in communication with our players. The great news there is they are all on board. They recognize that injury and sport go together. We’re moving forward. To be able to represent your country is what it’s all about, and our players get that.’’

Colangelo did his best to stay away from questions about the positioning of the basket stanchions and the fact they were closer to the court than normal. He also insisted that future play in the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas wasn’t in jeopardy.

‘‘I think the stanchion is not the issue here,’’ Colangelo said. ‘‘Some people want to make it one, but it isn’t. It appeared to us that Paul George was in a stressful position when he came down.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops



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