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Derrick Rose: “I’ve become a smarter player, but I’m mad it took me seven years to learn it.”

Jul 28, 2014, 7:19 PM EDT

2014 USA Basketball Men's National Team Practice Getty Images

LAS VEGAS — During one of the last scrimmages on the opening day of the Team USA training camp in Las Vegas, Derrick Rose brought the ball up, gave it up, quickly got it back and found himself open at the three-point line. Old Derrick Rose might have put that ball on the floor and gotten to the rim.

This Derrick Rose set his feet and knocked down the three.

It was just one snippet but was a nice example of what Rose says has changed about his game — it has matured.

“I’m able to control my body a little bit more, using my speed more, being smart with my speed rather than just running wild out there,” Rose said. “I’’ve become a smarter player, but I’m mad it took me seven years to learn it.”

Rose made one vintage Rose play at the Team USA scrimmage where he drew the contact, made the and-1 shot and hit the floor hard. But he’s not seeking contact like he used to on his drives.

“Trying to use a lot of floaters, a lot of pull-ups, stuff like that so you aren’t touched as much,” Rose said.

Rose added the last comeback taught him things about patience, something that he wants to apply on the court.

“I think when I came back last time I wanted it too bad. I was trying to force the game,” Rose said, having missed a full season then getting injured on a cut just six games into his return. “This time around I’m trying to let the game come to me, of course be aggressive at times, but be in control of the game and be smarter, and be able to run the team at the point guard position.”

Run a team that brings in Pau Gasol to pair with Joakim Noah, forming the best passing front court in the NBA.

“When you think about Gasol coming in, winning championships and bringing that experience to our team, him being around our bigs like Joakim and giving them advice and talking to them, I think that’s what we needed,” Rose said.

But right now he’s focused on Team USA. When USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked about this kind of setting being an ideal spot for Rose to slide back in he laughed.

“Any setting with Derrick in it is an ideal setting, when he’s healthy,” Krzyzewski said. “The ideal thing is he looks like he’s healthy and he’s put a lot of work in and he really wants it and we’re excited about him.”

Rose should make a Team USA roster that runs a lot of three guard sets and often uses guys pigeonholed as point guards in the NBA as two guards (and occasionally threes) working off the ball. Rose says he is good with that and would be willing to do some of that in Chicago.

“I can just shoot it, I can do a lot of catch-and-shoot, just running off floppy,” Rose said of a common NBA play most teams run that can free up a shooter for a quick shot. “Just trying to make the game easier and find ways to score, find ways to effect the game when I’m not scoring.”

Rose still has some Chicago fans to win back. After two years of injuries a guy those same people used to call tough gets another label. Krzyzewski just doesn’t get that at all.

“He’s one of the great people and one of the great players and to get multiple injuries like that can defeat anybody mentally. I don’t see that,” Krzyzewski said. “He should be applauded for what he’s doing. I’m a Chicago person and I’ve very happy he’s back, not just for Team USA but the Bulls.”

  1. canucks30 - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    His knees are shot

    • chicagosports2014 - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      Hard work pays off. smh, at his haters!

    • chicagosports2014 - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:06 AM

      Round of applause to Drose from a loyal fan!


  2. canucks30 - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Derrick Rose used to be a heck of a ball player…then he took an arrow to the knee. Twice.

    • 1friendofthepeople - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      Lol, I guess there aren’t too many Skyrim nerds on here…an arrow to the knee makes perfect sense too. He’s a guard, after-all.

    • bhunter1995 - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:37 AM

      I thought this was pretty funny lmao.

  3. djlexluger - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    How do you know his knees are shot?

  4. tampajoey - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    How about becoming a player that can stay on the floor.

    • chicitybulls - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      How does your heat look this upcoming season?

      • tampajoey - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:44 AM

        Funny guy I’m from Ohio and I hate the Heat.

      • tampajoey - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:45 AM

        But I will enjoy watching the Cavs whip up on the Bulls.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        “Tampa Joey” as in Tampa, FL…but you’re from Ohio all of a sudden, you hate the Heat and you will enjoy the Cavs whooping on the Bulls now….the bandwagon is real!

      • tampajoey - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        @00maltliquor Yeah, “all of a sudden” I was born and raised in Ohio. Go drink another 40 simpleton.

      • chicitybulls - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        There were tons of comments from you about the heat when lebron was there. Now, yes all of a sudden, you hate them? Riiight. We shall see who beats up on who when the season begins. That’s the beauty of it. It’s played out on the floor, not in comments. Tampajoey, from Ohio, who’s real name is Chris.

      • tampajoey - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        @chicitybulls you’re a clown. Go find any pro Heat comment from me on this site. I thought only idiot politicians came out of Chicago, but it seems the entire city is filled with fools.

      • chicitybulls - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        And nothing good comes out of Cleveland. Case in point, one if its own not even claiming it in their username. See, it’s so bad YOU dont even want to claim it.

  5. antistratfordian - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Well he’s going to need to be smarter if he’s going to win those multiple championships he promised.

    • money2long - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      By smarter do you mean decide to leave Chicago and team with two other all stars ?

      • antistratfordian - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        No, by smarter I mean by playing better. His MVP level from 2011 wasn’t good enough. He has to be even better than that.

      • sonnysuave - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:15 AM

        Very true… he does need to be better to win a championship! Especially since he’s not teaming with 2 current all stars…

  6. campcouch - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    If it took him seven years to realize that plowing into people in a basketball game is bad for you, Chicago needs to get him some letter blocks.

    • llfreedman - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      Nah it’s not about plowing into people- it’s that he has no idea how to land. Guys like tony Parker are really good about landing on his back rather than coming down awkwardly on the knees.

      • blogsk3tball - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:40 AM

        I’ve never seen tony parker get 3 feet off the ground either

      • llfreedman - Jul 31, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        He doesn’t need to.

  7. steelerfanforlife - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Rose still has some Chicago fans to win back. After two years of injuries a guy those same people used to call tough gets another label. Krzyzewski just doesn’t get that at all.

    And those people are not real Bulls fans…they are the bandwagoners that are terrible, terrible people but without them your team probably sucks!

  8. therealhtj - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    I wonder if he’s smart enough to take his own SAT now too.

  9. malnourishedfatguy - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    lol most of you guys were on his D when he was playing. now your hatin. I don’t understand why he seems like a decent guy to me…..

    • chicitybulls - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      There are just some sad sad people in the world that live and enjoy negativity. It can’t be explained or understood by reasonable, happy people.

  10. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Just wanted to point out that back in 2010 Derrick Rose was talking about he he had to learn how to create contact and draw fouls. He said he tried so hard to avoid contact on drives that he missed shots and never drew fouls. So this is an interesting reversal.

  11. ufools - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Will he make it past 20 games this season?

  12. vanhenge1234 - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    I love D-Rose, and he is saying all the right things, but can you declare yourself a smarter player? I mean, I applaud his awareness that he _has_ to be smarter if he’s going to win big in this league, but the only thing that matters is what he shows on the court. I agree with him that he tried too hard last year and it cost his body dearly.

    Hopefully the new pieces around him will alleviate some of the pressure to push his body to the limit on every possession, but he still has to prove that he has matured on the court. One day back in practice is great, but let’s see it on the court for a full season & postseason.

    Bulls fans everywhere will continue to hold their breath every time he comes down awkwardly. Even playing smarter it’ll be tough to limit the exposure to injury for his type of game. Here’s hoping for the best.

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