Tom Thibodeau said Friday he supports Derrick Rose playing for Team USA this summer at the World Cup in Spain.
To support his case, Thibodeau pointed out how Rose played in the FIBA World Championships (same event, different name) in 2010, then became the youngest player to win the NBA's Most Valuable Player award.
"I thought that was great for him ... because you're going against pros every day and it's high-level competition," Thibodeau said. "So I think you get an edge about you when you do stuff like that. The priority has to be his health and that's what we'll look at first."
Rose was one of 28 players named as finalists for this year's World Cup team and the 2016 Olympic squad. But the roster could always change, and some veterans, like LeBron James and Chris Paul, are not expected to put in national team duty this summer.
Of course, it would be odd if Rose played for Team USA after being healthy just 10 games over two seasons for the Bulls. He had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee on Nov. 25.
"Obviously, his health is the priority," Thibodeau said. "If he's moving along well -- we have to continue to be patient -- but if he's cleared to play and that's the best thing for him, then I think he should do it.
"I know he feels the same way. I thought that whole experience was tremendous for him. I know how strongly USA Basketball feels about him. If his health is there, I think it makes a lot of sense."
Doc thinks Thibs will stay:
Tom Thibodeau's friendship with Doc Rivers has been well-documented, but the dynamic shifted a bit this year with Rivers moving from the Celtics to the Clippers. Thibodeau was Rivers' top assistant in Boston when the Celtics won the title in 2008 and went to the Finals in 2010.
Rivers commented Friday on rumors that Thibodeau might end up in New York next season.
"He's under contract, so yeah. I don't know why he wouldn't be (with the Bulls next season)," Rivers said at the Clippers' morning shootaround. "I think it would be nuts not to have him here. He's the best coach, one of the best coaches in this league. So if you have that, that's an asset. And I don't think any right-minded organization would allow that asset to leave.
"Because with all this adversity they've had with injuries, if you allow that one to leave, things will fall apart. That would be pretty much a guarantee."
Teague speaks out:
Former Bulls guard Marquis Teague talked about what went wrong in Chicago when he spoke to reporters for the first time as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. Teague was traded to the Nets for forward Toko Shengelia on Tuesday.
"It just wasn't clicking with Thibs the right way," Teague said. "Just trying to figure out the system was kind of tough for me. The way they play isn't really my style, so it's kind of difficult for me. But I've got a new start now, so I'm just looking forward to the future."
Asked what style would fit him, Teague said, "I like to push the ball, play fast, get up and down, play off pick-and-rolls. Over there, it's more structure and sets and things like that."
Thibs dating supermodel?
Tom Thibodeau must be in a good mood, because he's been tossing jokes into his interview sessions lately. On Friday, he was asked about Doc Rivers' suggestion the Bulls would be nuts to let Thibodeau coach anywhere else next season.
"I'm not going to comment on rumors that you guys start, then you wait for me to respond," Thibodeau said. "Obviously, I have a lot of respect for anything Doc does say, but to go down that path -- every day there's something going on. Now, the rumor about my date with (model) Kate Upton, started by me, I'm not commenting on that, either. So let's move on."