Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is just a few preseason games into his comeback, but he’s already thinking 2016.
Rose, 25, missed all of last season after tearing an ACL in the 2012 playoffs.
“For sure, I would love to play on the team,” Rose told reporters Wednesday. “It would be an honor. But at the same time it’ll take me trying out for the team and Coach K (Olympic and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski) and this coaching staff along with Thibs (Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, an Olympic assistant) would pick the players and allow me to play for them. So, if I have the opportunity to play for them, I will, but it’s just going to take me trying out for the team.”
What are Rose’s chances? Krzyzewski pointed to 2010, when Rose was the starting point guard for the U.S. gold-medal-winning team at the World Championships.
“(Rose) did a really good job,” Krzyzewski told ESPN Chicago. “He was only 21 years old at that time and probably would have been on our Olympic team in London.”
That torn ACL ended Rose’s 2012 Olympic dreams. The U.S. didn’t need him, steamrolling to its second straight Olympic gold and fifth in the last six Games.
The U.S. generally puts three point guards on the 12-man Olympic team. In 2008, they were Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. In 2012, they were Paul, Williams and Russell Westbrook.
The latter three, plus the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Cavs’ Kyrie Irving (a Krzyzewski pupil at Duke), appear to be Rose’s primary competition to make the U.S. team for next year’s World Cup in Madrid.
“I want (Rose) to be on the (team), to be in the pool of players, and hopefully be on both teams, but I also want to give him the opportunity to see how the year goes for him because there’s nothing more important than making sure his career is going in a very positive way, and we’re always cognizant of that with the USA Basketball program,” Krzyzewski said, according to ESPN Chicago.
A Bulls player hasn’t made the U.S. Olympic team since Scottie Pippen in 1996.