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LAS VEGAS – Derrick Rose says he feels old.

The 25-year-old point guard’s rigorous play Monday during the U.S. basketball team’s first practice dictated otherwise.

“I was joking with Kyle Korver, I told him, ‘I’m getting old, man. I’ve got to stretch, I’ve got to use rollers and stuff.’ He looked at me kind of weird,” Rose said with a laugh. “But I feel a lot more mature.

“ I’ve been preparing for this for a long time. I’ve dedicated my whole summer to this. I think I’ve sacrificed a lot for this moment.”

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Rose, the Chicago Bulls’ standout who is coming off two knee injuries that kept him out for much of the last two seasons, said he played roughly nine minutes of the team’s scrimmage during a two-hour practice. He added he was excited about how he felt physically.

U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski, who coaches Duke, was elated with Rose’s play, saying he was most impressed with his defensive pressure and tenaciousness.

“I think Derrick was a great excitement for us, because you hear about how he’s worked out, but to see him today, I mean, he put it all out,” Krzyzewski said. “He was playing to exhaustion. That was a big plus for today, to see him.

“ I was pleased that he didn’t hold anything back. He played his butt off.”

Rose, who played 10 games last season before his campaign was ended by a torn meniscus in his right knee, said he has spent much of the summer in Chicago working out, other than a few promotional days in Los Angeles for Adidas. He was happy to be back on the court, playing against and alongside other NBA players.

The U.S. team is preparing for the World Cup, which starts Aug. 30 in Spain.

“I work out a couple hours a day (and) I know how much work I’ve put into this; I’m just excited to be here,” Rose said.

The 2011 league most valuable player also said he has felt no pressure to prove himself to anyone.

“I think last year I was trying to (prove myself) and you see the outcome of that — that wasn’t my game,” said Rose. “This time around, I know my game and I know exactly what I need to do when I go out there.”

Said Krzyzewski: “Derrick is one of the great players I’ve had an opportunity to coach. He’s an elite player in the world and he’s coming off of some really unbelievably bad setbacks. The fact is, he hasn’t been defeated mentally.

“Instead, he’s gotten stronger and he’ll continue to grow as a player.”


• On Saturday night, Byron Scott revealed he will coach the Los Angeles Lakers. The team will formally introduce the former Lakers guard as coach at a news conference Tuesday.

Scott, 53, reportedly has a four-year deal for $17 million, with the team holding on option for the fourth year.

• Guard Mo Williams, previously with the Portland Trailblazers, has agreed to a $3.75 million, one-year contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Williams, 31, averaged 9.7 points last season — his lowest output since he was a rookie in the 2003-04 season.

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