As expected, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was among the 20 roster finalists that USA Basketball named Monday for the 2012 London Olympic team. The 6-foot-3 reigning NBA MVP has also been announced Eastern Conference Player of the Week, with Kobe Bryant taking the Western Conference honors.
Rose averaged 24 points and 9.3 assists in 38.8 minutes as the Bulls went 5-0 last week.
However, Rose aggravated his sprained left big toe and was scratched for Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. He suffered the injury in the first quarter of Tuesday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and sat out Wednesday's contest against the Washington Wizards before returning for the Bulls' last two games.
The fourth-year star dropped 25 points and seven assists in Friday's road win over Boston and a double-double of 18 points and 11 assists in 41 minutes of action, including the entire second half, Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors.
John Lucas III made his second start of the season on Monday. The 5-foot-11 point guard nearly had a triple-double in place of Rose on Wednesday, with 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
The Bulls trailed Memphis 58-38 at halftime, as C.J. Watson returned from a dislocated left elbow he suffered New Year's Day against the Grizzlies. Watson had missed nine games in a row.
"Very surprised," Rose told reporters when asked about his setback. "Kind of irritating, where you want it to go away but it always finds its way back."
Plenty of fans believe the Bulls should decide to rest Rose. Following Monday's game, the Bulls return to Chicago and will face the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at the United Center.
But Rose, as usual, is not interested in missing any games.
"I'll see. You know the way I am, where I've got that old school mentality," he said. "I don't want to miss a game. And it hurts missing games, especially when it comes to me.
"You really can't move [with the injury]."
Meanwhile, Rose, who was the starting point guard for the 2010 USA World Championship team, is a virtual lock to be on the 2012 Team USA roster, which will be trimmed to 12 in June. Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge were the only newcomers to the squad. Stephen Curry and Danny Granger, unsurprisingly, are not back from the 2010 roster.
Returning from the team that won gold in Beijing in 2008 are Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Back from the reigning world champions are Rose, Kevin Durant, Tyson Chandler, Eric Gordon, Rudy Gay, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups, Russell Westbrook and Andre Iguodala.
"Deron Williams has come a long way overall in terms of his talent, but I'm not sure anyone has come as far and as fast as Derrick Rose," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a Monday conference call. "I mean, he literally dominates games. As I watch him play, he seems to be able to get to any point on the floor at any time he wishes to."