Derrick Rose Has Experience, Supporting Cast to Reach Superstar Status

Derrick Rose is officially a 21-year-old world champion after the Bulls guard served as floor general for a USA Basketball squad that went 9-0 this month and steamrolled the FIBA World Championships. But what about in the NBA? Will he continue to develop his game this season back home in the United States? Will Rose reach superstar status?

If you've watched Rose's first two seasons in the NBA since he dove headfirst into the league out of Memphis, you know that he's been building toward something big. He was a rare sensation in his rookie season — the 19-year-old point guard who thrived right away as the leader of an NBA offense. He averaged 16.8 points, 6.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game in his 2008-09 campaign and won Rookie of the Year without a second thought.

He achieved a more prominent role in the Bulls' offense in his second season, inching up to 20.8 points per game. And more important, he became a more comfortable ringleader for a Bulls team that was more exciting this season than its been at any point since Michael Jordan walked away.

Two seasons ago, the Bulls were bottom-feeders. They won only 33 games in 2007-08, snuck into the draft lottery and nabbed the No. 1 overall pick they needed to turn their franchise around.

That pick was Rose. To their explosive young point guard they added Joakim Noah for some energy in the middle, and they kept Luol Deng for some scoring firepower. They've since added Carlos Boozer and a host of other free agents this summer.

Rose has enough talent around him that a breakout season in 2010-11 seems within his reach. And if there's one thing he proved this summer, it's that if you put the pieces around him, he'll get the job done.

The scrappy youngster started all nine games at point guard this month for Team USA at Worlds, averaging 7.2 points and 3.2 assists per game for an American squad that bowled over the competition. But Rose did plenty more this offseason than just put up numbers.

  • Rose gained a newfound appreciation for defense, chemistry and team basketball under Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K taught the youngster to be more active and more talkative on both ends of the floor, helping him to become a better leader.
  • Speaking of leadership, Rose learned from the tutelage of the team's two elder statesmen, each of whom has won championship rings in the NBA. Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom had plenty of wisdom to impart to their younger teammates on Team USA this summer, and Rose no doubt soaked it all up.
  • With Worlds winding down this weekend, Rose was able to gain tangible, valuable big-game experience in the Americans' final game against Turkey on Sunday. Rose recorded eight points and six assists for the visitors, who rolled to an 81-64 victory over the host Turks.

Now it's back to the States, and it's back to a new coach, Tom Thibodeau, and a Bulls team that's hoping Rose can be the next big thing in the NBA. will analyze 25 key NBA questions this September.

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