This was not your father's or brother's Team USA. Heck, it was not even our generation's Dream Team. Despite the lack of major stars like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, among others, Team USA showed the world it can win without its best at the 2010 World Championships.
The floor general of that gold medal winning team was Derrick Rose, who continued to take the next step in his maturation process in the NBA.
This was the first long look at Rose in a world spotlight, and he had his moments in the brightest of lights, and some glaring spots. Here are some things to remember about D-Rose that we may not have known, or known as well before.
It has been reported and seen that Derrick Rose has developed an outside shot to compliment his slash and crash game.
Just like a magician, Rose seemed to appear and then disappear with his outside shot, including a dud of a game against Lithuania. Coach Mike Krzyzewski ended up benching Rose for the entire 4th quarter f that game, which was consistently heated.
Fortunately for Chicago's own, Rose has time to still hit the gym and keep working on his aerial attack.
Chauncey Billups played the tough minutes that Rose played himself out of as the tourney wore on. Billups, clearly more seasoned, displayed a calm demeanor that added to the games of team superstar Kevin Durant, and Eric Gordon, who was arguably the second best shooter for Team USA during the tournament.
Rose continues to be a student of the game, and has worked with Billups during his time with him. During televised practices and team scrimmages, it was obvious that Rose took notes during match-ups, and started to show some better vision, much like Billups is known for, when his outside game did not cause havoc in his head.
Billups was added to the roster for a reason, and it should help Rose going forward.
Against Turkey, Team USA knew they were in for a battle against the host country. For much of the game, it appeared it would be close, as the house was filled with Turks.
Team USA had a different thought: taking home the gold. Kevin Durant was the clear leader and main threat, but after the U.S. started pulling away in the third, Derrick Rose and Lamar Odom helped put the preverbeal dagger in Turkey's heart. Rose's two hit a couple of shots, and was complemented by Odom as his low post presence for their time together on the court in the fourth.
After not being a huge factor for most of the game, and end of the previous win over Lithuania, D-Rose put in his two cents, which could be heard hitting the hardwood after the crowd was silenced by USA's 22-point lead.
Being selected to Team USA's roster is an honor, even with some of the big point guards deciding to stay at home. Their loss was USA's gain, as the world got to see what the Chicago Bulls have now, and more than likely the next decade-plus.
He is not Deron Williams, Chris Paul, or Canada's Steve Nash, but he is knocking on the door to the elite guard party. His maturity, speed, raw talent, and skill have vaulted him into the conversation as one of the best in a shade under two years of pro experience. Getting the chance to play and learn with some of the league's best can only help his progress.
Look for a little of this experience positively impact his game when he and the Chicago Bulls hit the court in six weeks.