For the first time in 526 days, Derrick Rose took the floor against the Indiana Pacers in the Chicago Bulls‘ first preseason game of the 2013 NBA season. While many were excited to see the former league MVP finally running up and down the floor, this long-awaited return also shines a bright spotlight on Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls.
First and foremost; the expectation in Chicago is that this Rose-led Bulls team will dethrone the Miami Heat. Folks in the Windy City have been forced to watch hated rival LeBron James hoist two World Championship banners in the last two years, while injuries have held the Bulls at bay. For the first time in years, Chicago is now fully healthy heading into the season, which means the excuses are starting to evaporate.
Thibodeau’s club enjoyed being called the “grittiest team in the NBA” and whatnot last season, but those pointless narratives mean absolutely nothing now that Rose is back in action. Anything short of a championship will be deemed a disappointment from NBA pundits across the globe — barring another catastrophic injury to the Bulls’ point guard.
With that being said, it’s now up to No. 1 and Thibodeau to take this healthy roster and bring some hardware to Chicago for the first since the turn of the century.