Derrick Rose not sore, or even sore at anyone


Oct 14

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Derrick Rose survived the first crisis.

“My knee was good,” Rose late Monday told breathless, expectant reporters after staying on the practice floor longer than any of his teammates. “I never was worried about it. I could have played (Saturday in Rio). But the front office made a decision to sit me out. My health is No. 1.”

So crisis No. 1 is past.

This return season for Rose is all about initial milestones. There was the first interview, the first practice, the first preseason game, and then when the Bulls traveled to South America last week for the first ever NBA game there and Rose didn’t play with what was termed “knee soreness,” that opened up a big can of “What the heck!”

“Just being in the building, just seeing all the employees,” Rose said about Wednesday's return to the United Center. “Just feeling like the regular season even (if it is) preseason. I think we’ll be happy to be back there and put on a show.”

“Just being in the building, just seeing all the employees,” Rose said about Wednesday’s return to the United Center. “Just feeling like the regular season even (if it is) preseason. I think we’ll be happy to be back there and put on a show.”

The first, “Uh oh, Oh no!” We know not to cry for Argentina, but we suddenly were weeping in Brazil.

Not to worry.

It really was just super precaution. Rose didn’t even think much of it and planned to play after practicing for two days in Brazil with the team. Then he said “sore,” and those were Bulls tears keeping the rain forest wet.

So Rose said his bosses asked him to rest and he complied. But Rose said he’s fine and expects to play, likely along with Joakim Noah, Wednesday in the Bulls first home preseason game, Rose’s first game in the United Center since his April 2012 knee injury.

Yup, we’ll all be there. Another first.

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot,” Rose said about playing in the United Center Wednesday for the first time in 18 months. “Especially at night when I’m in bed, (I’m) thinking about all the games we played, what I could have done differently in those games. I’m excited getting back on the court in the UC. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on that court.”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau after putting the players through a light workout Monday a day after the return from down under North America suggested not only would Rose play Wednesday but Noah as well. Noah has yet to play in the preseason resting a groin injury.

Of course, Thibodeau would make no promises, including that Wednesday would be following Tuesday this week. But it seemed there was no need for concern and the team is in good condition not even halfway through the preseason.

“Derrick did everything,” Thibodeau said about Monday’s session. “He’s fine. Jo did everything. He’s moving great. So that’s a big plus. We felt coming into this stretch where we had some days in between it would be good to give those guys some rest. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. But based on how they practiced today, I’m assuming they’re both going to be ready to go (Wednesday).”

So it was mostly the appropriate overreaction to Rose not playing, which is expected to be a season long theme. Everyone is pretty much prepared.

“It’s soreness,” Thibodeau sort of explained. “We’re in training camp (when pretty much everyone is sore). This is an important time for us. We want everyone to work. But we also want to be smart. It was unusual with the travel involved. We played those two (preseason) games and then we basically flew all night (to South America). And we had a lot of stuff going on during the day (with NBA activities), so guys couldn’t get off their feet like they normally would because of all the obligations they had with the league. We just wanted to make sure everything was good.

“He’s (Rose) been terrific all camp,” Thibodeau said. “He’s in a really good place. He’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s preparing himself well by how he’s practicing. I’ve always felt when he practices well, he plays well. He’s been our best practice player and it shows in the games. You’re concerned about anything that keeps a player out. If he needs rest, he’s going to get rest. And if he needs to play, he plays. He’s responded to the challenges he has faced thus far. I didn’t like the idea of flying all night, not well rested, some soreness. I didn’t want to take the chance.”

But could Thibodeau understand the concern in the community when “Rose” and “knee soreness” were in the same sentence?

“That’s the reality of the way things are,” said Thibodeau. “You (media) guys all do what you do, whatever it is that you do.”

“What do we do?” someone wondered.

Many readers and viewers wonder as well, we assume.

“I don’t know,” said Thibodeau, now actually laughing. “It’s good work if you can get it.”

Asked if he were being respectful of the media and the process, Thibodeau responded: “Oh, always respect. Always respect. I’m going to go to my sources.”

Thibodeau, you may have guessed, does not much regard sourced stories. Especially as he seems to believe they come from sources who reliably may or may not know.

But people were laughing after Bulls practice. When they are crying is time to worry.

No worries this time about Rose.

“It just happened,” Rose continued about the knee soreness near catastrophe. “Of course, I wouldn’t want it to be sore. It’s just something that happened and I’m all right now. I wouldn’t blame it on that (long flight). It’s just that it was sore that day.

“I can understand (people being concerned),” Rose said as he fielded the same questions confidently. “But at the same time I have to worry about myself and my health. This is the preseason. Get all the wrinkles out. The regular season I should be all right.

“Going into it (playing after surgery) you hear about it (soreness),” Rose noted. “But when it actually happened it surprised everyone. Like I said, I could have played in the game. But they made a decision and I just listened to them.

“I’m fine with it (all the questions and concerns),” Rose said. “It’s just something I’ve got to deal with. Does it get irritating? Sometimes. I had the injury. And it’s something all of us have to go through. You think about all the teams who go strong in the playoffs. They’re healthy teams (so caution now is vital).”

Rose said he and his teammates have realized that even more considering all the injuries the previous seasons and are “lifting two times a week, drinking protein shakes, ice cold tub, getting massages.”

It all sounded good except for the cold baths.

“Just being in the building, just seeing all the employees,” Rose said about a return to the United Center. “Just feeling like the regular season even (if it is) preseason. I think we’ll be happy to be back there and put on a show.”

Rose was asked about the popular adidas commercial which raised hopes last season of a return as it showed him going onto the United Center court as his brother watched. It happens for real Wednesday.

“I think it was a great commercial,” Rose said with a laugh. “I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I tried my hardest to get back on the court every game, every practice. I was really trying to push myself to get back on the court as quick as possible. It just didn’t happen last year. I had to worry about my health. This year I hope that commercial comes true where I brighten everyone’s day and everybody will be tuned in.”

There then was talk of the Duck Dynasty show, and that’s when I left.

To be continued Wednesday at the United Center.

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