“We were advised he was coming,” Colangelo said. “Maybe a week-and-a-half ago or so, and then the speculation that he might not [surfaced] … obviously he made a decision and I respect that. I respect that.”
ESPN.com reported last week that Rose, who won’t be in attendance, was undecided on the decision to make the camp, although the former MVP stated many times over the years how much he wanted to win a gold medal for Team USA in the Olympics.
He helped lead Team USA to a title in the 2010 World Championships in Turkey and the 2014 World Cup of Basketball in Spain and was on track to play for Team USA in the 2012 London Games before tearing the ACL in his left knee during the first game of the 2012 Eastern Conference playoffs.
Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski have been big supporters of Rose’s — even as the 26-year-old’s knee injuries piled up over the last three years.
“I’m never surprised at anything,” Colangelo said of Rose’s decision. “Players have to make decisions that are in their own best interest one way or the other. And if it affects us negatively, it does. I’m a big boy, we can handle some of the negatives that come along, but it’s OK. I wish him the best.”
For his part, former Bulls coach, and Team USA assistant, Tom Thibodeau, did not seem shocked by Rose’s decision not to participate.
“Not really,” Thibodeau said. “I think with the summer — everyone’s got to do what they think is best for themselves. Obviously with Derrick, going through four years where he’s dealt with injuries, he’s got to make sure that he feels good about what he’s doing. I know how he felt about participating here and he did a great job with Team USA and it probably wasn’t right for him right now. So he’s got to think about what’s best for his career and that’s what he did.”
Rob McClanaghan, who trains Rose, and several other NBA stars in the offseason, said that Rose kicked around the idea of coming to the camp but ultimately decided to continue training in the Los Angeles area for the upcoming season.
“I think right now he just wants to stay healthy and just be consistent with the workouts,” McClanaghan said after Team USA’s first practice.
McClanaghan said that Rose has been working out five days a week this summer and sounds pleased about what he has seen.
“I definitely think his rhythm is better right now,” McClanaghan said. “His timing and his rhythm, that’s the biggest thing I’ve seen, finishing at the rim and stuff like that. I think that’s definitely a little bit better this year going into the season than last year.”
While Rose’s decision to opt out of Team USA competition may benefit him in the future as he continues to build his confidence back up, his playing career for the national team appears to be over.
While Colangelo didn’t come out and say it, Rose’s absence, combined with injury concerns, and the talent pool within USA Basketball which includes guards like, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry and Chris Paul, all of whom were in attendance Tuesday, indicates that Rose’s time with Team USA is over.
“Anyone who’s not here, who had been invited, which was not mandated, but it was a request and mandatory to be here to be considered going forward — those who made a choice not to, I respect, but then we have to move on,” Colangelo said.
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