Thibodeau denies any rift between Bulls, Derrick Rose
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org April 9, 2013 12:14PM
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau talks with guard Derrick Rose before play resumes after a timeout in the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls 99-94 loss to the Orlando Magic Thursday March 8, 2012 at the United Center. | TOM CRUZE~Sun-Times photo
Updated: April 9, 2013 9:33PM
If there is a rift between Derrick Rose and the Bulls organization, that would be the first Tom Thibodeau has heard of it.
The Bulls coach was asked after the Tuesday shootaround if everyone in the organization was on the same page with Rose, his camp, and the way the MVP point guard has handled his rehabilitation from May surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and went out of his way to praise the way the process has been handled.
“Yeah, yeah, right from the start,’’ Thibodeau said. “I thought [board chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] set the tone for it right at the beginning, he made it clear about how we were going to approach it. We were never going to rush him back and we weren’t going to allow him to rush himself back. And I think he heeded Jerry’s advice right from the beginning, he’s been diligent, he’s done everything that you could possibly do. He puts everything he has into each and every day. He’s still not quite ready and I think we have to trust him, so when he is ready we’ll move forward.’’
Asked specifically if there has been a difference of opinion along the way on treatment or timetables, Thibodeau responded with, “Not that I know of.’’
“I think it’s been very clear right from the beginning and we made it very clear that we don’t want him out there unless he’s comfortable,’’ Thibodeau said. “He’s done his part, we have to do what’s right and I think we are.’’
For his part, Rose has basically been very consistent with his message, and that fact that he won’t take the court until he feels he’s “110 percent.’’
The hole in Rose’s reality is that a player is never really sure he’s “110 percent’’ unless he tests it against the best players in the world and on the stage when the lights are on.
Rose has been the best player in practice the last month, doing, as Taj Gibson called it, his usual “Matrix’’ moves in the air, but just because the Bulls have been able to get him on the high dive, it doesn’t mean they can make him jump off and take that leap of faith.
It doesn’t sound like the organization will be shoving him off, either, starting from the top down.
“I think [Reinsdorf] made it clear to us, to Derrick, to the doctors on how we were going to approach it, and that’s exactly what has happened,’’ Thibodeau said. “Trust me, Derrick wants to be out there very badly. He’s doing all he can, and when the time comes he’ll be out there.’’
NOTE: Joakim Noah (right foot plantar fasciitis), Taj Gibson (left knee MCL), Rip Hamilton (back), Luol Deng (right hip) and Rose are all out for the Toronto game tonight, while Marco Belinelli (strained abdomen) will play a second-consecutive game, but will be on a minutes watch again.