Bulls

Rose downplays prospect of being All-Star starter

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Rose downplays prospect of being All-Star starter

Friday, Jan. 14, 2011
12:25 PM

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

INDIANAPOLIS, IND.Putting the Bulls current road woes on hold for a moment, the continued ascension of Derrick Rose into one of the faces of the league has been most recently manifested by him vaulting past rival point guard Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics to second place among Eastern Conference guards in All-Star balloting. But as anybody whos ever spent time around the third-year point guard could predict, he downplayed the news.

Some people hit me up, talking about it. Other than that, I dont know numbers or anything, Rose said before Fridays shootaround at Conseco Fieldhouse, where the Bulls will take on the Indiana Pacers a few hours later. Its great, knowing that you have an organization thats behind you, pushing for me to start. I wasnt going to do anything. I think its really up to the fans and Im thankful I have that many votes.

Just put me on the team. Ill be happy like that, he continued, repeating his frequently-uttered position on his All-Star status. Last year, I didnt start, but I had a great time.

Rose was an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve a year agobecoming the first Bulls player to make the team since Michael Jordan in 1998but doesnt see a major difference in potentially starting.

It probably wouldnt change his experience. Probably more media stuff laughs, but other than that, I think just being on the team is a blessing, said Rose, who had 1,225,575 votes to Rondos 1,171,311 when the most recent returns were announced Thursday. I wouldnt want to be near him Jordan right now because he did so much for the Bulls.

I dont look at stuff like that, like the first Bulls All-Star since Jordan, the first starter, he added. Im just happy that they nominated for me to be on that team.

While Rose, reflective of his humble nature, didnt get overly excited about the chance to possibly start in the game, his teammates expressed pride in the recognition shown to the close-knits squads star.

Im happy for him. He deserves it. He deserves to start in that game, a beaming Carlos Boozer told CSNChicago.com. I think hes been the best guard or one of the top guards in the leaguenot just the Eastern Conferenceall season, so its much deserved. He should start in that game.

Chimed in Luol Deng, whos witnessed Roses progress as a professional firsthand: I think he deserves it. Hes been unbelievable so far this year and just seeing him since his rookie year until now, the way hes been able to improve his game every year shows a lot about him as a worker and his work ethic.

Even Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, a man who isnt focused on much that doesnt have to do with the day-to-day dealings of his team, acknowledged Roses worthiness.

So far, hes having that type of season and again, theres not much control he has on that, other than to continue to play the way hes playing, said Thibodeau. The fans make that decision, but hes playing at a very high level and I think hes earned it.

Despite his emerging national profile, Rose, remains grounded and selfless, deflecting attention to his teammates.

You have a couple guys on this team thats been playing well, like Lu, Booz, Joakim, he observed. At least they should be recognized for it, but well see.

To further support Rose, the organization will distribute placards to fans attending Saturdays highly anticipated home game against the Miami Heat at the United Center, as well as placing a red rose on the seat of courtside spectators. Paper balloting at NBA arenas ends Monday, but online and text-message voting for the All-Star Gameheld Feb. 20 at the Staples Center in Los Angelescontinues until Jan. 23, with the games starters announced Jan. 27.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Draft night highlighted the unfulfilling feeling of this past Bulls season

Draft night highlighted the unfulfilling feeling of this past Bulls season

The door has officially been closed on the 2017-18 season for the Chicago Bulls, and the word that most comes to mind is “unfulfilling.”

Or maybe even “indistinguishable.”

Draft night was supposed to be a culmination of a painful seven-month stretch that only had occasional yet costly moments of light.

Death lineup? Meet Death March. And Death April, while we’re at it.

The Bulls brass sold everyone on a full rebuild after trading Jimmy Butler one year ago, with an unspoken promise that this draft would bear franchise-changing fruit—hence the general feeling of angst or even indifference with the solid selection of Wendell Carter Jr. and their not-so-secret affection of Chandler Hutchison.

It was why fans believe the Bulls got cold feet about trading to move up, and why they believe the Bulls weren’t being pragmatic in staying away from Michael Porter Jr.

Porter, some believe, has star written all over him given his prep ranking this time last year and the Bulls were in position to speed up this process without having to go into a painful Process.

They were desperate for a star, believing the tankathon had produced so much suffering it had to be something on the back end.

There was the fight (or the punch).

The aftermath.

The miserable 3-20 start.

The 14-7 streak that produced the audacity of hope.

The reality that 14-7 was damaging enough to the lottery chances that a 3-11 finish couldn’t rectify.

And finally, the coin flip that cost them five spots in the lottery one month ago.

So that empty feeling has less to do with Carter and Hutchison, who’ve done nothing to earn the “blah” reaction from the fan base and some media. It has everything to do with the unanswered questions over the last 82 games and lack of clarity over the three hauls from draft night last year.

It’s not that Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn underperformed individually last season, but the lack of cohesiveness due to injuries and circumstances has led to the varying thoughts.

LaVine is approaching restricted free agency and by all accounts is taking his continuing rehab in Washington very seriously.  Markkanen has added plenty of muscle since the offseason began, appearing as if he can play Michael B. Jordan’s in-ring foil in the next installation of “Creed” as Ivan Drago’s long lost son.

And despite the report about Dunn not working as hard on the floor this offseason, that would be more of a concern if this were late August, not June.

The last time they were seen together on the floor, they looked no closer to a pecking order than the day they arrived.

What we know is that they’re productive NBA players, capable of putting an individual tattoo on a game at a moment’s notice, skillful enough to take your breath away.

And for whatever reason, the expectations changed once the three displayed they could be dynamic on their own—a star needed to be anointed and groomed to go with the star they believed was coming their way after the season.

Management is fully behind Markkanen, but Paxson’s strong words about LaVine at the season-ending news conference illustrated how much it feels LaVine has to prove next season.

With his restricted free agency status looming, the Bulls’ initial offer will show how much they value him until and if he gets a better deal on the market.

And the fact the Bulls weren’t afraid to draft Trae Young while having a healthy debate about Collin Sexton on draft night has to show they have at least some skepticism about the future at point guard.

But stars—developing stars, acquired stars, drafted stars—have to do it on their own. No amount of promotion or prodding from management will validate their faith, if that’s the route the Bulls choose to go.

This has to be a meritocracy or it won’t work and, honestly, it’s time for a reality check.

All the worry about the Bulls getting back to title contention sooner rather than later seems like folks getting ahead of themselves.

The front office has taken its share of shots from media and fans, so some questioning is earned but they’re right about one thing. Rebuilds aren’t completed in a day or 12 months.

Expecting some magic potion to arrive in the form of a top draft pick isn’t going to cure what ills this roster, and it doesn’t seem likely all the cap space will result in a free agent choosing the Bulls over the usual suspects.

However, methodical building can look like complacency if not done with a sense of urgency.

And with urgency in mind, this past season was unsatisfying to say the least—heading into the next phase with two more young pieces to develop while the first three are still in the evaluation stage.

Loyola's March Madness hero Donte Ingram will play with Bulls' Summer League team

Loyola's March Madness hero Donte Ingram will play with Bulls' Summer League team

Donte Ingram's 2018 keeps getting better and better.

The March Madness hero, who buried a game-winning 3-pointer in the first round of Loyola's win over Miami, will play on the Bulls' Summer League team.

Ingram, a Simeon Academy graduate, had himself an incredible senior season with the Ramblers, who advanced all the way to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed.

In five NCAA Tournament games Ingram averaged 7.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Ramblers. He also had 18 points in the MVC Conference Championship Game to secure the Ramblers' March Madness berth.

He'll join first-round draft picks Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison on the Las Vegas Summer League team, which will begin play early next month.