The Chicago Bulls‘ Derrick Rose is under fire for the comments he made about playing for team USA this summer and his stance on not recruiting prized free agent Carmelo Anthony, but the reaction it has caused is really much ado about nothing.
In the Yahoo Sports article by Marc Spears, Rose stated he would not actively recruit Anthony to come to the Bulls and was non-committal when it comes to playing for team USA. He went on to say that he loves Anthony’s game and that if he was ready when it comes time to play for the USA national team that he would certainly play.
For one, Rose is non-committal when it comes to just about everything — it is just part of his personality. He’s not going to blow you away with his confidence and is always wishy-washy when speaking of future plans. Maybe it is his way of lowering expectations and taking pressure off himself. Rose likes to take things one step at a time. First, he wants to participate in the Bulls’ summer league practices followed by the USA camp.
Another possibility is he is being told what to say by his handlers—agent B.J. Armstrong and brother Reggie Rose. Whatever the case may be, we don’t know what context his comments were made in and it really is a matter of perspective. The article was written with a negative spin, but if you strictly read his comments there isn’t anything too alarming.
“If I’m feeling right and the time is [right], for sure I will go out there. My body is responding good, but you never know.” It sounds like he has every intention of playing as long as things stay the course and there are no setbacks.
Rose may not be open to recruiting players, but his comments pertaining to Anthony certainly didn’t hurt the Bulls’ chances of landing the All-Star.
“I love Melo’s game,” Rose told Spears. “He’s a great player. Takes the game serious. He’s consistent. He shoots the ball great. I love his heart.” He went on to say, “I can play with anybody, no matter who it is. I believe I can play with anyone if they step on the court with me.” Sounds like a ringing endorsement for Anthony to come play with the Bulls. It’s no secret Rose has social anxiety and is probably too uncomfortable to recruit Anthony—or any player for that matter. The Bulls’ roster, tradition and commitment to winning speaks for itself.
It was also reported that Rose’s camp has already reached out to Anthony’s camp and made it clear that Melo would be welcomed by Rose and the Bulls. It is extremely possible the two have had private conversations, but at this point in the process Anthony already has a good idea of where Rose stands.
It really is a matter of perspective. Rose hasn’t done anything to deter Anthony from coming to Chicago; he could surely do more, but if Anthony chooses to come to the Bulls it will be because of what Rose does on the court, not what he says off of it.