After the U.S. team’s domination at FIBA, all eyes turned to Rose
Another gold medal for the USA basketball team, which just shows why the NBA is considered home to the best players in the world. Even without more prominent names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony or Kobe Bryant; the USA team managed to blow out every one of their opponents and clinched the gold with a 129-92 win over Serbia.
There was one name that fans were looking at more than any other though: Derrick Rose. The former MVP of the Chicago Bulls has been the talk of the tournament, after having missed nearly the entire last two seasons and only playing 10 competitive games. Rose is arguably just as popular as James or Kobe Bryant because of his explosive attacking style. But the question on everyone’s mind is “will he ever get back or even close to the level of his MVP season?”
This tournament has been an example of what fans can expect from him once he’s back on the court, and that’s rust. Sure, it’s great to see that he is looking healthy and at times showing glimpses of his old self—driving to the basket, but more often than not, he couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. Statistics show Rose shot 1-19 from the 3-point arc during the FIBA World Cup. Paired with his inability to finish layups that he could do in his sleep a few years ago, it’s something Chicago fans should be concerned about.
The injuries have affected not only Rose’s body, but his mind as well. It’s clear that he’s extremely grateful to just be back on the court, but he’s also looked a bit out of place at times. As much as promoters have tried to push the World Cup of basketball as having vastly improved as well as having more NBA players in foreign countries than ever, the competition is just not as hot as it is here in the USA. America was able to dominate with what are considered to be the young stars—the second tier of players, who are looking to make names for themselves. Rose already has a renowned name, now he has to live up to it, which only puts more pressure on him to come back not only healthy, but a as leader.
It’s great that the Chicago native was able to go through the whole tournament without showing any real fatigue, but he hasn’t really been tested. He was a reserve point guard, playing limited minutes, often when the game was already decided. He wasn’t physically tested, only prepared for competitive play. It’s the same issue as last year, when he looked healthy and motivated during the preseason, only to throw brick after brick at the basket, struggle to handle the ball and ultimately tear another ligament after only 10 games in the regular season. Nothing is certain and all we can do is speculate, but as a player and a real role model, no one deserves a happy ending more than Derrick Rose.