Even with sitting out all of last season to fully recover from a surgically repaired left knee, Derrick Rose’s mind is on the one thing it has been for the last three seasons… winning a NBA championship.
“That’s everyone’s goal in the NBA, but for us I think coming together as quickly as possible,” Rose said. “With us starting early – we never started early. The last time we started early was when we went to London one year and that was like three or four years ago and we didn’t have the team we have now. With us adding (Carlos Boozer) and guys like Jimmy Butler --he’s coming into his own. Everybody is getting better individually, so I think we’re going to be a way better team than the previous years.”
Rose and adidas unveiled the point guard’s newest shoe and apparel Sunday afternoon and nearly 5,000 kids from local high schools and community groups were treated to In an exclusive event that brought the basketball community of Chicago as well as fans of Derrick Rose to the United Center where they were treated to performances by Rap artist Big Sean, along with a dunk contest – where Rose played judge and ally-ooper – and a shooting competition.
Rose also said he didn’t believe there will be any mental hurdles with stepping back on the court and plans to be without limitations during training camp. He said he’s had several moments during the summer where he’s felt like the player most have grown accustomed to witnessing over the years and he’s eagerly awaiting the Bulls preseason opener Indiana on Oct. 5.
“I’m excited, but at the same time, I can’t get overwhelmed by it,” he said. “You see people when they first come back, they’re so emotional and so energetic. For me, I don’t think I’m going to be like that. To tell you the truth, I might do some flips, you never know. I’m just going to try and play my game and usually when I play basketball, I’m focused in on just winning that game.
“I think the only thing that changed in my game is my confidence. My confidence grew as a player and you’ll see that when I play.”
Training camp opens on Friday for the Bulls and Rose is coming off of the end of his promotional tour and has spent most of his off time in Los Angeles working out with personal trainer Rob McClanaghan – in Chicago to help Rose in preparation before camp begins – and spending free time with his son.
All eyes will undoubtedly be on him for the first few weeks of the season, but Rose doesn’t feel any added pressure to that in which he places on himself.
“My job is to go out there, play the same way,” he said. “I can care less what people say about me. Play aggressive and try to put my team in the best situation to win, where every game we’re in and we’re going to take it game-by-game.”