Rose Ready To Repair Rift With Bulls, Reinsdorf Responds
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 1, 2014 3:30PM
Image via Bulls.com screengrab
In an interview with the Sun-Times' Joe Cowley, Bulls star Derrick Rose suggested he's ready to mend the sometimes rocky relationship he and his camp have had with the Bulls.
Rose has missed most of the past two seasons with knee injuries, and tensions first arose during his rehab following a torn ACL when family members took shots at the Bulls when there were different assessments of his progress and prognosis for return. The distance grew as Rose rehabbed from surgery to repair a torn meniscus suffered early last season, when his camp leaked his apparent concern about the Bulls gutting their roster in the wake of his second missed season.
Yet, as Rose returned to form and the team began rebuilding a contender this offseason, the point guard seemed disinterested in helping the Bulls land their top free agent target, Carmelo Anthony. Rose appeared to be put out when his workout was moved to the United Center on the morning of Anthony's visit, and he did not attend a dinner that evening with team execs and players as the wooing of Melo continued.
But Rose appears to realize he and his camp, which includes his brother Reggie and agent, B.J. Armstrong, has done some damage to his relationship with the organization, to which he is under contract for three more years. He appears ready to try and undo the damage, attributing it to those around him, denying his direct involvement and his desire to put it behind him.
“This is a new beginning,’’ Rose said. “It really is.’’ Rose has also taken a much more active role in the recruitment and welcoming of free agent Pau Gasol. Rose stated he intends to have dinner with the Spaniard when in Spain as part of Team USA for next month's FIBA Cup.
Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf issued a scathing response to Cowley's article on Thursday evening, declaring that there in fact was no rift between the Bulls organization and its star:
I am confounded by the irresponsible report in the Chicago Sun-Times suggesting there is anything approaching discord or confusion between the Bulls executive office, coaching staff, and Derrick Rose or any other Bulls player. To the contrary, I can remember no time when the organization has been any more focused, optimistic, and cohesive,” Reinsdorf wrote. “I've got to assume suggestions otherwise are intended to undermine the goals and objectives, spirit, and reputation of the Chicago Bulls. I am deeply disappointed that unnamed sources and totally inaccurate statements and assumptions can be used to foment nonexistent friction. The report is totally without basis or fact. It is pure malicious fiction.
So while Rose acknowledges issues that need to be fixed and a willingness to do so, Bulls brass deny there ever was any issue at all. Does that mean they're all ready to let bygones be bygones as the team heads into the 2014-15 season with a retooled roster that looks ready to contend? Or will issues continue to fester as long as both sides refuse to admit there was a rift?