Rose and Bulls ready to deliver for Christmas


Dec 25

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Not that it was a sad Christmas morning for Derrick Rose, but he said there was nothing under the tree in his Bulls hotel room before Sunday’s game against the Lakers.

“The only gift I actually got,” said Rose, who got his early holiday present with his new Bulls contract last week, “my girlfriend gave me a painting of Malcolm X.”

Rose said a little girl also came up to him in Los Angeles and gave him a Christmas card and an old fashioned cell phone attachment.

Rose conceded with a laugh in the Bulls locker room before the big Christmas Day matchup that he hadn’t gotten a gift for coach Tom Thibodeau.

“Nothing,” laughed Rose. “Hopefully, we can get him this win.”

Let me add another thing about this unusual superstar kid. Very few of the top players speak with reporters before games anymore, but Rose casually sits in his locker stall and invites queries. LeBron James did, but stopped amidst the hubbub of last season, though he’d make it more press conference format at times. Rose just remains the throwback. C’mon, sit down and let’s chat awhile.

Still, it always is a big game on Christmas Day and Rose and his teammates were looking forward to it.

“We have to approach it the same way,” said Rose. “With Thibs, he won’t let you approach it any other way. We have high expectations for ourselves. This is special. I think my mom is having something at her house. Other people are having things. It means a lot; it’s an honor to play on Christmas.

“We’re not taking anything for granted,” said Rose. “We’re going to show everybody we deserve to be playing out here on Christmas. We put a lot of hard work into our play. We have a lot of guys on our team who will do anything to win and people should see that.

“I think we’re way stronger (as a team),” said Rose. “We only changed one person (Richard Hamilton starting on Kobe Bryant) in the lineup. We have chemistry with one another. He’s a veteran and has played well with us and should be able to jell with us.”

Rose said he remembers watching Bulls games against the Knicks in the title years in Christmas Day. “Hard fought,” he says. “A lot of attention. Just wishing that the Bulls won.”

Like it is heading into Sunday’s game.

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