Do you really expect anybody with the Bulls to say anything differently? They need to keep their star happy, for one. Second, Rose remains liked by teammates and those around the organization that know him.
So it’s not shocking that John Paxson, Bulls VP of all things basketball, came to the defense of those that criticized Rose. Paxson spoke on WSCR-AM 670 The Score, with a transcription via the Chicago Tribune.
“It’s the way of the world now, the social media, everything that goes on,” Paxson said. “Everybody wants to point a finger and blame and accuse and that kind of stuff. And the reality is, Derrick and us, we were all on the same page from the beginning. If he was ready to play mentally and physically, he was going to play. It didn’t happen this year…
“There’s no question in my mind that the time he spent on his body this past year was the best thing he’s ever done because I think he’s learned that, to compete in an NBA season and absorb the physical contact that he does, what he’s done during this rehab has benefitted him greatly. I think it’s going to make him better and stronger.”
If Rose comes back stronger and, more importantly, with an improved jump shot that’s great. The Bulls need that.
Personally, I’m done with this debate. You know where I stand (Rose had ever right to sit out but handled the PR poorly, he should have just said he was out with 10 games to go in the season).
But the fact simply is that when he comes back next fall and plays like the old Derrick Rose the entire city of Chicago will be behind him by the fifth game. This will all be ancient history. And I’m ready for that, ready to move on.