At least it's not Derrick Rose, that would have caused a panic. Jimmy Butler has passed on participating with the team USA select team "due to a slightly strained groin injury". Derrick Rose will still be there though, and I think that's what we're all most concerned with.
There haven't been so many quotes about Rose so far this off-season, there was one from "sources who saw Rose workout" a few weeks ago that he looked really good. Noah had this to say about Rose a few days ago:
“I’m really proud of him,” Noah said of Rose’s second knee rehabilitation. “He sacrificed his whole summer to be the best that he can be. That’s all you can do. People’s expectations, all that stuff doesn’t matter. I’m just proud of him for putting in the work that he put in to be in the best position possible. He has helped us out too with our foundation. I have nothing but love for him.”
That doesn't necessarily read like Derrick Rose is a bad ass, since it focuses on how hard he's tried and not how good he looks. Of course, who knows how much Noah has even seen Rose play. That's why Team USA will be a good barometer. I doubt we'll hear any of the players say anything bad about Derrick, but what we can hope to hear is answers to open ended questions come up with his name.
Like "who looked really good out there? Derrick Rose" might have a lot more meaning than someone asking "Did Derrick Rose look good out there? Yes". Either way it will just be a tidbit of information, and Derrick will have plenty of competition to make the team. The NBA is stacked with PGs right now, and his game doesn't necessary translate that well to international basketball.
That said, if he can't make the team, it should set expectations for fans in a realistic spot. We talk about Rose as a potential superstar, but if he can't make at least the third PG on the team when Chris Paul isn't even participating it's a sign that Derrick's less likely to take the NBA by storm right out the gates.
That wouldn't be the worst thing. The worst thing would be another major knee injury. However, starting off slow and playing himself into form is fine. The Bulls don't need a superstar Derrick Rose in July, nor do they really need one in October, November, or December. They need one starting in April.
Team USA? It probably won't be Derrick's best work and that's okay. If he's healthy enough to play through all the practices and has no setbacks then that's a successful enough trip for me. If he makes the team and plays well then all the better as I'm sure fans would love to see Derrick on the court even if the competition is likely pretty lousy up until the semi finals/finals.
As for Butler? Groin injuries suck. They take forever to heal and are easily aggravated. That said, we're in July, there shouldn't be any issues with him being healthy for training camp, so no big deal. Kind of a bummer for Jimmy that he'll have been left off the select team which would have been a nice experience, but health is obviously more important.
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