The explosiveness, blinding speed, and mind-bending athleticism are all still there. Derrick Rose, however, says he’s much more in control of his body and actions on the court now.

Rose (who is now up to 209 pounds, and his body fat at 4.5 percent) also intends to be more of a vocal leader for Team USA this summer and the Chicago Bulls next season. Per the Chicago Sun-Times:

“My game is totally different,’’ Rose said Friday. “When I came back last time, I was just trying to get into a groove. I felt a nice little groove, and my confidence is high right now. Even playing in that game [against Brazil], you’ll be able to see it by the way I attack the players ­defensively and by the way I just play offensively, just not rushing anything.’’

 

“I wouldn’t say quicker,’’ Rose said when asked if he felt he was faster than before the injury problems. “I would say I’m able to control it a little bit more, like I said a couple of days ago, using it at the right time … When I was out there when I was younger, I used to be just running crazy because I didn’t know how fast I was. So I was using it for no reason, just mindless. Now that I know I have it, and I know that I have other skills that I’ve been working on, I can really control the game and control what I’m doing when I’m out there just playing.’’

 

Being a veteran of USA Basketball compared to his previous stint in 2010, Rose has taken on the responsibility of being a better leader, a talent he plans to carry into the new season. [...] “For me, this is my chance to actually become a better leader and more vocal in the locker room, more ­vocal on the floor,’’ Rose said. “[Saturday] starts all that. It’s a huge journey for me. I’m not trying to shy away from it. It’s going to help me with becoming a leader with the Bulls. It’s going to help me have a better relationship with my teammates. I’ve always had a good relationship, but being vocal and always talking to them, it should be even better.’’