Team USA just tipped off against Serbia in the FIBA World Cup gold medal game, with the oddsmakers making them overwhelming favorites following the loss of their biggest challenger, Spain. Despite some helter-skelter performances where he was dreadful while also showing flashes of his 2011 MVP form, Derrick Rose recently said he’d give his performance an “A” and has more confidence heading into the season after a pair of knee surgeries made limited him to just 10 NBA games over the last two seasons.
Through pool play and the single-elimination round that’s led up to today’s championship game, Rose is a horrendous 1-of-17 from beyond the three-point arc, and he’s shooting 27.3 percent from the field despite a solid game against Slovenia.
“I would give it an A in my mind,” Rose told the Chicago Tribune‘s K.C. Johnson yesterday. “Just coming off of what I had to go through and actually getting a spot on the USA team after missing two years of basketball? Like, c’mon man. It shows that I at least worked somewhere and hard work pays off. If anything, it gives me more confidence to head into the regular season.”
If you’re a Bulls fan you’re happy Rose is healthy and has handled the bunched up World Cup schedule without any lingering issues. If you’re more of a glass half empty person, Rose’s poor shooting and some turnover-prone quarters have you scoffing at the notion he’s played at an “A” level.
We’re a little bit in-between. Rose is healthy. Right now, as Rose has said, just making the team and suiting up every night for an American team that still hasn’t lost in international competition since 2006, is enough.
“But looking back at it, my whole mindset was just getting on the team. You had younger players who had great years since I been out, great guards who had great years” Rose said. “Just trying to show them that I’m still one of the best out there. I think I was going into camp with a chip on my shoulder.
Rose will have the FIBA World Cup experience to look back on when training camp starts a little over two weeks from today’s championship game. Right now, he just wants to take Serbia down.
“I think I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish but win this championship. And that’s (Sunday),” he said. “After that, that’s the icing on the cake.
When NBA training camps open, this experience provides him some extra self-assurance, even if his shooting hasn’t been up to par.
“I think I’m going to be far ahead of people, especially on my team,” Rose said. “Nobody in the world is getting this type of competition right now, where you’re playing against different people every night, a different style of play every night, chasing people around.”
Rose is optimistic, and after two seasons of setbacks, fans and competitors are all hoping Rose is back to stay.
“I’m happy to be here. I think that I did great,” he said. “I think I could go into training camp with a positive mindset. And I know I’m headed in the right direction.”
We do, too, even if the shooting woes will continue to be a talking point until he puts up a couple big nights at the NBA level — where his scoring really does affect his team. Once he’s shown his explosiveness on a night-to-night basis at the NBA levels, while staying healthy through the first month of the regular season, it’ll reassure fans still watching on with a clamped jaw every time he falls hard and clangs another jumper off the iron.
Would you grade Rose’s World Cup an A?
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