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Magic's Howard a 'big brother' to Bulls' Rose
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Oct 19
By Adam Fluck
Derrick Rose may not have mastered the Chinese language as well as Dwight Howard, but he does have someone looking out for him in the Orlando Magic center.
Rose got to know Howard when the two traveled to China this past summer for an adidas promotional tour. They spent several days hosting camps, clinics and making appearances. Despite their busy schedules, Howard said on Monday that the two have managed to stay in touch.
“We text every now and then,” said the 2009 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. “I just try to be like a big brother to him.”
As for Howard and his multilingual abilities, maybe he hasn’t perfected the Chinese language, but he did humor a small group of media following the Magic’s shootaround on Monday, saying “Hello, I love you, China” in Chinese. At least we think that’s what he said.
We do know Howard spoke favorably of Rose, his fellow adidas pitchman who missed his sixth straight game of the exhibition season (right ankle) when the Bulls and Magic took the court at the United Center on Monday.
“He’s a great guy,” said Howard. “I had a really good opportunity to get to know him in China. I was happy to see him get to go over there. It was his first trip, but I’ve been over there a million times. I just wanted Derrick to get the feel of what it’s like to go overseas and see that there are millions of fans who support NBA basketball. I think it was great for him. He expanded his fan base and did an excellent job over there.”
Howard also shared some advice he had for the second-year guard, who earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors last season.
“One of the things that I told him this summer was that even though he’s the youngest or one of the youngest players on his team, he has to be the leader on and off the court,” said Howard. “It’s his team and his town, and he has to represent the Bulls in a great fashion.”
Given the mutual connection to adidas and both playing in the Eastern Conference, is it possible a friendly rivalry between Rose and Howard for years to come is in the works?
“Nah, there aren’t any rivalries between us,” said Howard. “We just play basketball and have fun.”
Del Negro talks to the front office:
Head Coach Vinny Del Negro met with members of the Bulls marketing, ticketing, financial and legal departments on Monday afternoon to summarize training camp and the preseason to date, plus field questions from the team’s staffers. The session lasted about an hour and Del Negro touched on a variety of subjects, including compensating for Ben Gordon’s points, deciding on a rotation, and the progress of the rookies thus far.
Listen to Del Negro’s pregame comments, in which he discussed Taj Gibson getting the start at power forward versus the Magic, controlling the paint, and facing one of the East’s best teams in Orlando:
Bulls host an open practice:
The Bulls hosted their ninth annual Autograph Session and Open Practice on Sunday at the United Center. The free event was held exclusively for season ticket holders. Following a one-hour autograph session with the players, the team practice began around 12:30 p.m. and lasted for approximately 90 minutes. Del Negro wore a microphone for the duration of the session.