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Thibodeau would support Rose, if healthy, to compete for Team USA

Thibodeau would support Rose if he's healthy enough to compete in trying out for Team USA for the World Cup
Thibodeau would support Rose if he's healthy enough to compete in trying out for Team USA for the World Cup
AP Photo/John Raoux

Prior to Friday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he would fully support Derrick Rose participating in Team USA's this summer minicamp to try out for the World Cup after the point guard was named to the preliminary pool of 28 players on Thursday.

“If he’s healthy enough, I think it would be great for him and I know he feels the same way,” Thibodeau said. “I thought that experience was tremendous for him (in 2010). I know how strongly USA Basketball feels about him. If his health is there, I think it makes a lot of sense.

“Obviously, his health is the priority. He’s moving along well, he has to continue to be patient. But if he’s cleared to play and that’s the best thing for him, then I think he should do it."

In a statement released to USA Basketball on Thursday, Rose said; “I’m looking forward to getting back on the court this summer and having the chance to represent our country. It’s an honor to play for Team USA and Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski).”

Rose tore his right medial meniscus on Nov.22 and was ruled out for the season. If medically cleared to participate in the minicamp, it could help jumpstart his assimilation back to, not only game action, but competing against top-tier talent and competition, as everyone will be at their best to try and earn a spot on the World Cup Team and also be in favorable consideration for the 2016 Olympics.

Making it more of a benefit for Rose, is he's firmly against playing pickup ball during the offseason.

He was part of the 2010 team that won the FIBA World Championship in Turkey that summer. Rose would then go on to become the league's youngest most valuable player that season and lead the Bulls to the league's best record and to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Not only was that his best season as a pro, but it led to the NBA putting a new provision in the new CBA called "The Derrick Rose Rule" allowing a player finishing his rookie contract to make 30 percent of a team's salary cap -- up from 25 percent -- if he's twice been voted an All-Star starter, twice been voted All-NBA or won an MVP award.

"In 2010, that summer (with Team USA's select team), he had the opportunity to practice and play," Thibodeau said. "I thought (when the season started) he hit the ground running. I thought that was great for him because you're going against pro's everyday and then it's high-level competition. I think you get an edge about you when you do stuff like that. The priority is he has to be completely healthy and that's what we'll look at first."