Derrick Rose still hasn't seen the replay. And he doesn't want to.
Beyond the fact gruesomeness makes him sick to his stomach, Rose knows that helpless feeling all too well.
But seeing Paul George on his back, his right tibia and fibula fractured and his 2014-15 NBA season over before it began, won't deter Rose from his commitment to USA Basketball and his own comeback. The Bulls star stated as much on Thursday following Team USA's practice at Quest Multisport, Rose's first public comments since George's horrific injury cut short an intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas on Aug. 1.
“I have no fears, I have faith,” Rose said. “I know that I'm going to be fine. I know that I busted my ass the entire two summers — you can say two seasons — to get back to where I am right now. Just try to keep it moving, stay positive every day, do everything consistent like I've been doing.
“I think everything will go my way.”
The Bulls certainly hope so. They see the positives this summer's commitment offered for a player who has logged just 10 NBA games since April 2012. They know the last time Rose participated in international competition, he followed it up by becoming the youngest most valuable player in NBA history.
“From Derrick's standpoint, we think there's a lot of positives from participating,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, also an assistant to coach Mike Krzyzewski for Team USA.
And so Rose keeps pushing forward, on to a Friday practice and Saturday exhibition against Brazil at the United Center. Next week, training camp shifts to New York and more exhibitions before the FIBA World Cup begins in Spain on Aug. 30.
Neither Rose nor Thibodeau believes George's injury or Kevin Durant's subsequent departure create an added burden.
“There's a lot of depth to this team,” Thibodeau said. “We have a ton of scoring. “I don't think anyone is going to be taxed with heavy minutes.
“That's the value of having depth. I still think it's good for him to come back in this setting.”
Krzyzewski, for his part, does see expectations increasing for Rose. But that's less a byproduct of Team USA's losses and more a nod to Rose's gains.
“We weren't sure who he was going to be until we saw him in Vegas. He's not been good but terrific, fantastic,” Krzyzewski said. “He hasn't held back in any way. We expect a lot from him. Hopefully, he gives that and more.”
During the training week in Las Vegas and on Thursday, Thibodeau repeatedly said how much he liked the pace at which Rose played.
“He's shooting when he should shoot. He's passing when he should pass. He's not forcing things and playing very well defensively,” Thibodeau said. “And that's what we want — find the rhythm of the game. I think he's comfortable.”
That comfort level changes when Rose is asked about George's injury. Again, after successive season-ending knee injuries, he knows.
“You wish that on no one,” Rose said. “The only thing we can do is pray for him. During the season, when everything is still going, I'm going to try to hit him up as much as possible and just let him know I'm thinking about him.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun