Derrick Rose may only have played 10 games in the last two years, but the former MVP is still the most important player on the Chicago Bulls’ roster. However, he’s making headlines this week for going slightly off-script when it comes to helping out both his organization and his country.
On Sunday, Yahoo’s Marc Spears had a chance to speak with Rose at the Drew Gooden Foundation Camp, and the Bulls’ star had some interesting comments about both his and his team’s offseason plans.
It’s well-known that the Bulls are pursuing Carmelo Anthony in free agency. They were Anthony’s first meeting when players were allowed to begin negotiating last night, and by amnestying Carlos Boozer they should have enough money to offer a max deal (or close to it) to a free agent of their choosing.
Rose, however, has no interest in helping to lure the talented forward to Chicago. When asked about his participation in the recruiting process, Rose told Spears that it’s “not my job” to help bring in new players and “My thing is if they want to come, they can come.”
While that may come off as anti-Melo, Rose insists that this idea isn’t specific to Anthony. On the contrary, he thinks they’d actually fit quite well together. “I love Melo’s game,” he said, “He’s a great player. Takes the game serious. He’s consistent. He shoots the ball great. I love his heart.”
Rose believes that “I can play with anybody, no matter who it is. I believe I can play with anyone if they step on the court with me.”
As for his USA Basketball future, Rose was non-committal about participating in the upcoming tryouts for the team that will play in this August/September’s Basketball World Cup. Asked whether he would be trying out, he told Spears that “I still don’t know yet. If I’m feeling right and the time is [right], for sure I will go out there. My body is responding good, but you never know.”
That seems to contradict what his coach thinks. Speaking at the introductory press conference for first round pick Doug McDermott, coach Tom Thibodeau said that “In terms of if he’s ready to go, he’s going.”
The disconnect between player and organization has to be a bit disconcerting, especially given all the drama that unfolded as Rose recovered from his initial ACL tear. Given their cap space and already-excellent roster composition, the Bulls are uniquely positioned to be a title favorite next year; they can submarine all that, though, if they don’t keep Rose healthy and happy.
Follow me on Twitter @dcsibor