LeBron going back to Cavs:

Derrick Rose Wants to Play for Team USA, Should Focus on Chicago Bulls Instead

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | When the 2013-14 NBA regular season kicks off for the Chicago Bulls, superstar point guard Derrick Rose will not have participated in a meaningful game in more than 18 months.

However, he is already thinking ahead to next summer and his potential involvement with Team USA at the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

What Rose should be focused on instead, is continuing to ensure that he is completely healthy and ready to help the Bulls compete in the gauntlet that is the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Rose tore his ACL during Game 1 of the opening-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers back in April of 2012. His injury was heavily scrutinized, as the news of his availability to return to action seemed to waver as the 2012-13 regular season progressed -- eventually never making it back to the court, though he was reportedly cleared to play in March.

The former MVP would ultimately miss another Chicago playoff run, even after being "open" to returning to the lineup as late as April.

Rose recently indicated that he thinks he is 100 percent in a video posted to CSNChicago.com.

"I think I am 100 percent. I think the training, I'm doing almost everything. Squatting, running, lifting, almost every other day. Just being back on the court after you have the ACL, you're kind of hesitant at first about how you step, what way you should step. Learning how to run, accelerate, accelerating while you run, while you're slowing down. For me, I'm reacting right now, where I don't have to think about anything. If I want to get to a spot, I'm going to get there, no matter what. It kind of feels good, having that feeling again."

This is fantastic news for Rose and the Bulls, who are considered to be viable contenders to dethrone the Miami Heat this season with their on-court leader back in the mix. But the NBA season is long and demanding, and it would be reckless for Rose to look so far ahead -- especially after hanging his teammates out to dry in the playoffs last year.

Playing for Team USA is an honor, so Rose -- who helped the squad win a gold medal at the 2010 World Championship in Turkey -- is probably not intentionally making light of his obligation to the Bulls. But hopefully looking ahead a little does not interfere with what he plans to accomplish with Chicago this season.

Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country. Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel.

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