Derrick Rose always manages to make headlines, even during the offseason. He’s not injured or recovering from an injury, he’s not sitting out games because of his “son’s graduation,” or clashing with one of his teammates — this time, it’s really not much of a headline at all.
Rose will not be attending the Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas from August 11-13, effectively ending his Olympic career, which never took off in the first place.
This shouldn’t come as a shock for anyone who’s followed Rose’s topsy-turvy career arc, which saw him get picked No. 1 in 2008 and become the youngest MVP by the age of 22 in 2011, only to have his career marred by injury after injury ever since.
His decision to sit out the Olympics is a no brainer for a multitude of reasons, and it really wasn’t much of a choice at all.
First off, Rose’s injury history is well documented, and at 26, the wear and tear from his rugged, acrobatic play has taken its toll on him.
Olympic basketball is no joke, with the best players from all over the world representing their country, all with something to play and put their bodies on the line for. Rose has a hard enough time suiting up for the 82-game NBA slate (he hasn’t played 81 games since his MVP season) let alone playing over a dozen of games in the offseason when he’d be better off resting.
Playing more games puts Rose at more of a risk for injury. Just ask Paul George how that went for him last summer. Yes, George was a freak injury, but every NBA player has a ticking clock counting towards the end of their careers, and Rose’s could go off any minute now.
Perhaps the most logical reason for Rose choosing to sit out, quite frankly, is that he had no chance of making the team anyways.
There’s 34 players attending the USA minicamp, with a stingy point guard competition shaping up, even without Rose.
Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook are virtual locks, with John Wall and Kyrie Irving on the outside looking in. Add LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Blake Griffin and DeMarcus Cousins, and the number of remaining roster spots continues to dwindle.
Also, remember, Rose was flat out horrible playing for USA in the FIBA World Cup last summer.
**Courtesy of FIBA.com**
Coach K didn’t exactly let the reins loose on Rose or trust him to run the offense, and he was still recovering from an injury, but he looked out of place, lost and disinterested throughout. He was so bad that “FIBA Rose” became a running gag throughout the season whenever Rose tanked.
It wasn’t worth risking further injury having him play for a team that didn’t need him, especially when he wasn’t offering anything of use.
Rose didn’t play so well in international play even when he was healthy for the 2010 FIBA World Championship, either.
**Courtesy of ESPN.com**
Even if it’s clear Rose made the right and probably only decision to sit out, it’s still another chapter in his story of “what ifs.”
Since Rose was also hurt during the last Olympics in 2012, in the end, he’ll never represent his country in the Olympics.
Other than Curry, who’s a virtual lock to play next summer, Rose is the only player to win MVP and not compete in the Olympics since Moses Malone in 1983, which was before NBA players even played in the Olympic Games.
**Courtesy of NBA.com**
Rose will be 31 by the time the 2020 Olympics roll around, so his international career is all but over. He’s now a mirage of his old self, with his MVP playing days coming in close reach at times, but just exceeding his grasp.
His once unmatched desire, passion and work ethic are now all in question, with injuries, politics and an obligation to endorsements skewing his mentality towards basketball and what it means to represent his country. At this point, a gold medal isn’t all that important when compared to his health and future.
Ultimately, this is just one more feat that Rose’s knees, and a whole lot of bad luck, stole from him. Even though his Olympic career is over, at least his NBA career gets to live to fight another day.