COMMENTARY | It's not "The Return" that fans so anxiously anticipated all NBA season long, but it looks as though Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose may be ready to play competitive basketball at last. Problem is, there are only three games left in the season (at most) and the Bulls will not be participating in any of them. So, if Rose is looking to play games against NBA-level talent, partaking in some professional summer activities seems like a natural choice.
According to Bulls insider Sam Smith, Rose is prepping to travel with USA Basketball. This does not necessarily mean that he will take the floor in any of this summer's exhibition games, but that is what has been insinuated. USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo suggested the way is being cleared for Rose to return for the 2014 basketball World Cup. He also mentioned the possible extension of an invitation for Rose to join the team at the Las Vegas camp for younger prospects, which begins on July 22.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, who was recently added to the USA Basketball coaching roster, expressed gratification with the progress of Rose. Thibs even deemed the point guard "back to his old self." So, the possibility of Rose popping up in a few games this summer, over a year removed from his devastating ACL injury, is very real. However, after the "why isn't he playing?" debacle this past season and the negative press that Rose received as a result, I think we can expect all involved parties to be especially cryptic.
Rose suiting up for any type of organized, publicized basketball this summer would be a gift and a curse. A gift in the sense that it could wet fan appetites for next season and soothe some hurt feelings. A curse because while it may expedite Rose regaining his rhythm, the potential for injury also exists. This is a risk that some may not wish him to take for games that don't matter.
Acamea Deadwiler is a Chicago-area native with several years experience covering the NBA, including the Chicago Bulls, for Examiner.com. She has also been featured in Bounce magazine, SLAM Online, and various other publications. Follow Acamea on Twitter @AcameaLD.
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