In February following the NBA trade deadline, Reggie Rose was very critical of the Chicago Bulls management team. He said that it was frustrating for him to watch his brother Derrick Rose play his heart and soul out for the team when management didn’t put anything (better ballplayers) around him. He accused Bulls’ management of inactivity and not trading players for a better roster to complement his brother and this year’s All-Stars Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. Basically, he acknowledged Noah and Deng as great players, but said that it was up to the organization to sign more great players to give Derrick more help.
Give Derrick more help. Hmm. What a difference a day and a few months make. The supporting Bulls players have made some incredible accomplishments. All year long the entire team has been exceeding expectations and silencing their critics.
First, they not only made it to the NBA playoffs, they wiped out the Brooklyn Nets (a higher seeded team) in the first round, winning Game 7 on the road, which is a feat never before accomplished in franchise history.
In Game 4, reserve guard Nate Robinson turned that game around and Bulls’ fans enjoyed the thrilling triple overtime victory. Even before that, the Bulls halted the reigning champion Miami Heat’s winning streak at 27 and put the skids on the New York Knicks’ 13 game winning streak. All of these victories were made despite multiple illnesses and injuries among players.
Consider the following: Carlos Boozer has had an amazing year with four double-doubles in the postseason. Marco Belinelli was the go-to guy down the stretch in Game 7, hitting several key three-pointers and scoring a total of 24 points. Taj Gibson’s defense has been spectacular all season and where would the team be without Kirk Hinrich’s leadership and defensive edge? Nazr Mohammed has made key contributions and Jimmy Butler received several votes for a Most Improved Player of the Year award. How’s that for phenomenal achievement from an all-around, great supportive team.
The Bulls will face their toughest challenge this year against the Miami Heat in Round 2. Interestingly enough, neither the Bulls players, nor Coach Tom Thibodeau, nor Bulls management are asking for Derrick’s help during his continuing recovery. Instead, at virtually every opportunity Coach Thibodeau reiterates his trademark mantra by saying “We have enough to win.” Thibodeau has been right so far.
Reggie Rose has been silent since his critical comments last February. Could it be that he’s heeding the advice of TNT analyst Charles Barkley who suggested that he “shut the (expletive) up” or perhaps Reggie is still chewing on a slice of humble pie?
No one can deny that the Bulls are a team of really talented and determined players. It sure would be nice to hear Reggie Rose admit it right about now, wouldn’t it?
Hollie M. Woods is a writer for Rant Sports covering the Chicago Bulls and the NBA. “Like” her on Facebook.