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Rose has successful All-Star debut in East win
by Sam Smith
Posted on Feb 15
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He came, he saw, he scored eight points and had four assists and three steals.
And so if it wasn’t exactly a conquest for Derrick Rose, it was a success as Rose’s East All-Star team defeated the West All Stars 141-139 before a record basketball crowd of 108,713 Sunday in the Dallas Cowboys’ football stadium.
“It was sore a little bit, but I continued to fight through,” Rose conceded about his injured hip as he played a mostly cautious 15 minutes off the bench. “(It was) more (sore) than I thought I’d be, but I continued to play through it. My minutes were OK, so I wasn’t worried about anything. It was fun. I hope I come back next year. If I continue to play well I know everything will be all right.”
Rose, the youngest All-Star in the game in his first All-Star appearance, made a couple of jump shots, had a little double pump layin on a pass from Al Horford as he was cutting to the basket and a nice crossover move for a layup. Nothing special and nothing fancy, though first All-Star games go like that.
In Michael Jordan’s first one—no, we can’t help ourselves—Jordan had seven points on two of nine shooting, six rebounds and two assists. Rose shot four of eight.
Better start on his career?
Of course, that was the famous alleged freeze out game.
Rose got a good laugh out of that one as he addressed reporters in a suit after the game.
“C’mon now!” Rose laughed. “We play two different type of games. I just want to get past one playoff round (now).”
So, yes, it’s time to return to reality. Rose says he continued to get treatment all weekend and was up at 8:30 Sunday morning—“That killed me,” he said—for more treatment, did a two hour signing event in the afternoon and went to the game. He said he’ll leave early Monday morning to return to Chicago, get a nap and head for 3 p.m. practice at the Berto Center.
“I think I should be fine when I get to running and get more treatment,” Rose said. “Go home, probably take a nap, go to the Berto and get more treatment because that’s going to be my whole day for the next couple of days. If anything I take from this is confidence. The second half of the season I’ve got to go out there and play harder. Just try to get on a roll so we can make the playoffs.
“This was my first time playing in two or there days, just trying to get back in the mood, get my groove back,” said Rose. “When I get back tomorrow I got to get in the gym and work out.”
It has been painful, though Rose tried to hide it as much as possible because he wanted to play in Sunday’s game so badly.
“I don’t have to roll out of bed anymore. I can just get up,” said Rose about the difference between Sunday and when he arrived and Thursday. “At first I thought I was going to need help to get here.”
But Rose was determined to play and it was everything he hoped for, particularly with the record breaking crowd. It also was some nice loose change as the winners got $35,000 and the losers $15,000. And he is growing up. Before Rose talked to reporters, he was careful to remove the label from the sports drink on the table because it was a company he didn’t endorse. You can only be innocent for so long.
“I couldn’t believe (how many people were there),” Rose said. “Now I can see what football players go through when they have to go to stadiums and stuff. It was crazy out there. To be this big it was fun out there.
“Every fast break was like a highlight reel or action play,” said Rose. “It’s an experience I’ll never forget. They (the All-Stars) are competitive. You should have seen our huddles when it was close at the end of the game how serious they got. They took everything serious. They were professionals.
“I think I did well,” Rose said. “At first you go out there and get the jitters because of how many people are out there. Then after you get the ball and run a couple of plays it goes away. I’m never nervous before a game. It’s just basketball, but the crowd here got to me a little bit.”
Rose said Kevin Garnett told him he should drive and not shoot a jumper to start. “He just told me to play my regular game,” Rose said.
Rose said it was a hectic weekend and he didn’t even get to see his mother once even though she was at a neighboring hotel. “Not even once!” Rose said in disbelief.
“I was in my room with my guys or in their room, talking or walking around,” said Rose. “I was in the store today two hours, then I had to get dressed and come here. I didn’t see my mom the whole weekend with all the running around.
“Just going around and being with the kids, that was fun,” Rose said of being at the Jam Session and playing video games with fans and shaking hands and signing autographs. “They are your true fans. They love the game.
“My biggest concern now is winning games and getting to the playoffs,” Rose said. “We have to win more games. With the injuries we had and the people who were out we’re in a good spot right now, just one game under .500.”
Rose admitted even he had trouble on the bench seeing the game as the bench was sunken, so he mostly watched the big TV screens when he wasn’t playing.
“I couldn’t believe it when we first came in and saw all the seats and how they built the court and everything,” said Rose.
Dwyane Wade shared the backcourt with Rose for a time in the dream backcourt for the Bulls in 2010-11. Wade was the game’s MVP with 28 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and five steals and when asked about playing next season with LeBron James, who had 25 points, six assists and four steals, Wade said, “I was wondering what took so long for that question. Yeah, we can dream, can’t we? I dream.”
Rose also was asked about whether he did any recruiting of his All-Star teammates for the Bulls, and Rose was coy, as usual.
“Once again, Chicago is a nice place for anybody to come,” Rose said with a smile. “I would love for any free agent. They all are looking good and I hope the front office makes the right decision. We have a young team. We wouldn’t mind one of those All-Stars to come. With the team we have I’m comfortable with, but you always need help.
“We’re not worried about (the trade rumors), not at all,” Rose added about talk the Bulls will make a move by Thursday. “Our job is to go in, play hard and make the organization look good.”
There’s no doubt about that with Rose.