Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, who is returning from an injury-riddled 2013-14 NBA season, said he is confident he and his teammates will win a title soon.
Derrick Rose is confident his Chicago Bulls will win an NBA title soon.
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Rose made the declaration during the team's media day on Sept. 29, per CBS Chicago's Cody Westerlund:
"Taking the podium at Bulls media day on Monday afternoon at the new Advocate Center amidst his second comeback in as many years from major knee surgery, Derrick Rose acknowledged that he'll always have to deal with doubters and questions about his health.
"A couple minutes later, he then issued the strongest words of the day from anyone in the Bulls' organization after a season of roster revamping that included the addition of Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott.
"'We know we have an opportunity ahead of us,' Rose said. 'It may not be this year, it may not be the next year, whatever. But I know I'm going to win a championship soon. I'm not worried about (the doubters).'
"On a day when the Bulls brass spent ample time focusing on the renewed depth ('We've addressed skill and shooting,' general manager Gar Forman said) and complimenting the improved Eastern Conference ('You can't overlook a team like Brooklyn,' coach Tom Thiobodeau said in only a way he can), Rose was still the main topic.
"He'll always be, given his MVP past, hometown hero status and devastating health setbacks. He fully understands all that after playing in just 10 games the past two seasons, a stretch during which he said 'patience' was the greatest lesson he learned.
"'I just want to be healthy,' Rose said, while admitting the MVP of four years ago seems so far in the distant past. 'That's the only thing I'm worrying about now. I could care less about the awards. I could care less about any accolades or whatever. I just want to go out there and win games.'
"Rose making shots and returning to his dangerous offensive self would help Chicago nab those victories, but his shooting touch hasn't returned, in nine games for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup in late August and September, Rose shot just 25 percent from the field and 5 percent from 3-point range.
"Yet a day before the start of training camp, that's of little concern for Forman, Thibodeau or Rose, who says he feels great and is willing to play 'as many minutes as they want me to play.' Chicago has no plans currently to restrict his minutes, though the team still figures to be cautious.
"'I'm not worried about that,' Rose said. 'I try to take every negative aspect of my life and try to make it a positive...I tried to go out there every night and shoot it. It just didn't go down. That's part of basketball.
"'Taking 20 shots (with the Bulls), I think I should be able to find a little rhythm.'"
ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell also spoke with Rose during Bulls media day to get his thoughts on the upcoming NBA season:
"'With these two types of injuries, of course that question...that's just going to come up,' Rose said. 'I'm not worried about that. I don't care about when people ask me the question I know that it's always going to be there. I'm always going to have to answer this question for the rest of my career so I'm not worried about that. But for the Bulls fans I could sit here and say a million times that I'll be fine but I think the only way to answer all the critics and everyone asking about me is to actually be on the court and actually playing.'
"...Rose's first practice came and went on Tuesday without incident as he confidently answered questions about his status and impressed teammates and coaches along the way.
"'There really wasn't any emotions like that,' Rose said of being back on the floor with his teammates. 'I just wanted to get the first one over with. I really want the season to come around. Of course you have to go through this part, it's part of the process of building a team, but when you miss two years you kind of want games right away and that's the position I'm in right now where I wish we had a game (Wednesday) but we got to wait a couple of more days so that we can play.'
"...Rose is happy to be back on the floor and have the opportunity to help his teammates. After being sidelined for much of the last two years, he sounded emboldened in his chances to stay on the floor this year.
"'My confidence in my body, period, is very high,' he said. 'I know all the work that I put into the offseason and getting back into the shape I'm in right now so I'm not worried about that. The question (about confidence) didn't come up the entire time I was in camp in Vegas. It didn't come up none while I was overseas...I never really thought about it or went deep into it. So this is a new journey for me and I'm just trying to take it all in.'
"Four years ago on media day, Rose wondered aloud why he couldn't be MVP of the league then followed up that question by becoming the youngest MVP in league history. Another four years later and a more mature Rose didn't make the same statement -- he just acknowledged the best thing for him right now is to be on the floor."
The 25-year-old Rose -- the 2011 NBA MVP -- carries career avearges of 20.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 289 career regular-season games, per ESPN stats.
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