Count President Barack Obama as one fan who believes Derrick Rose still has upside.
POTUS sat down with HBO's Bill Simmons in an exclusive interview for GQ magazine for "Man of the Year." The interview as a whole is fantastic, and after Simmons asked his hard-hitters the mood lightened and turned to Obama's affinity for sports.
For the Chicago native, that included some Bulls-specific questions. Among them, Simmons asked whether Derrick Rose or Jay Cutler was more untradeable.
"Oh, I think Rose still has more upside. Remember, Rose is still awfully young," Obama said to Simmons.
Simmons asked a follow-up on whether he had given up on the 25-year-old Rose.
"I’ve not given up on him. Sadly, I think it’s hard to imagine, after that many injuries, him getting back to his MVP-season performance," Obama responded. "But he can still be a top-ten point guard."
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
Knee, groin, ankle, hamstring and facial injuries have contributed to Rose appearing in just 110 games since the start of the 2011-12 season. He'll likely never be the 25-point-per-game scorer he was in 2011 or the MVP he was in 2012, but even while battling double vision Rose has performed well in 2015-16. In 10 games, he's averaging 13.6 points and 6.0 assists per game. His 32.4 minutes per game are the most he's averaged in a season since tearing his ACL.
Obama was on hand for the Bulls' season opener against LeBron James and the Cavaliers, sitting courtside much of the contest. In that game Rose scored 18 points and dished out five assists as the Bulls won, 97-95.
Obama also said he'd "absolutely" want to be part of the ownership for an NBA team in his post-presidency, but admitted doing so with the Bulls is unlikely.
"Well, you know, I know [Jerry] Reinsdorf pretty good—he’s not giving that thing up anytime soon," Obama said. "But I have fantasized about being able to put together a team and how much fun that would be. I think it’d be terrific."
Obama also related how he handles his presidency, or any form or leadership, to times when he'd watch Michael Jordan.
"A thing that you’re reminded of, watching those old Bulls games, is Jordan had some stinker games in the playoffs. But he would get that out of his mind, and then the next moment comes and he’s right there. He could have a terrible game for the first three quarters and then suddenly go crazy the fourth. Or he might miss a free throw, and then the next play is he’s stealing the ball and hitting the game-winning shot. Part of what I try to do—not at the level that Jordan did on the basketball court, but part of what you aspire to as president or any of these positions of leadership—is to try to figure out how to be in the moment, make the best decision you can, know that you’re going to get a bunch of them right, but a bunch of times you’re also not going to get it exactly the way you want it."