AUBURN HILLS, Mich.Sporting a cut over the bridge of his nose, Derrick Rose looked like he had been in boxing match Sunday night. In fact, he called the overtime win over the Pistons a brawl, though he didnt mean it in a literal sense.
However, Rose didnt find the flagrant foul committed on him by Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva to be simply in the spirit of the game. The veteran reserve hacked the reigning league MVP in transition with 4:31 left in the contest, something Rose took exception to.
Its basketball. Hit me in my face. I think he didnt go for the ball. Whatever they called it, they called it for a reason, he said. I was mad. Sick and tired of people trying to take cheap shots at me. Ive got to say something.
I really dont know why he gets cheap-shotted by opponents. Probably because I dont say anything, but Im a man. Situations like that, you have to say something, he continued. Youve got to. He didnt even aim for the ball. At least aim for the ball. I felt like he didnt and thats the reason why I got mad a little bit.
After the play, Rose and Villanueva got into it verbally, resulting in a technical foul for the Piston. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau wasnt necessarily happy with the play, but accepted the referees explanation.
I thought he was getting to the rim, and he didnt get the calls, but he was getting hit, so hes got to keep going, he said. These guys, theyre great officials, so he said that it appeared to be worse than it actually was. Thats what he said to me. Usually, when they say that, they know that theyve gotten a pretty good look at it, so I dropped it right there. I thought the five-second count against Luol Deng with under a minute left in regulation was a little quick, but I guess sometimes on the road, thats to be expected. We were out of timeouts in that situation. Otherwise, we would have been able to use it, but we have to clean that up. We cant put ourselves in those situations.
Villanueva, who had been in first-year Pistons head coach Lawrence Franks doghouse and had only played 40 total minutes entering the game19 of which occurred in Detroits game against Orlando last weekscored a season-high 13 points on the evening, keying a second-quarter run by the home team. Ironically, he was also the high school teammate of Deng, Roses current teammate.
I hate that he played well against us, Deng told CSNChicago.com, while teammates Carlos Boozer and Ronnie Brewer joked about his love for Villanueva, who reportedly was defiant about the incident afterwards, in the background. But Im happy for Charlie.
Hes not a bad guy. He fouled Derrick pretty hard, he continued about the forward, who, along with former Bulls guard Ben Gordon, has been a major disappointment for the Pistons since signing as a free agent three summers ago. Charlie, hes not going to fight anybody. Its heat of the moment. Hes not that type of player.