Bulls

Rose: "Mom, we finally made it"

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Rose: "Mom, we finally made it"

The basketball community is familiar with NBA MVP Derrick Rose's overwhelmingly humble nature and he was nothing but grateful when it came to signing a five-year maximum contract with the Chicago Bulls.

"I'm tremendously blessed," Rose said in a press conference Wednesday morning. "I don't take anything for granted and I appreciate everyone and I think I can finally say this now, Mom, we finally made it."

Rose's contract is worth 94 million but the 23-year-old All-Star insists that money won't change him.

"Money I don't think is going to change me, if anything it would have changed me by now I think," he said. "Right now with the salary I'm getting I'm able to get whatever I want, I don't spend that much, I'm humble, I'm going to take care of others and it has a lot to do with my mom."

Rose also added that he's not even sure how much he makes. "I just know I get paid, I watch my accounts, they're growing and I'm happy," he said.

His humble nature hasn't gone unnoticed with coach Tom Thibodeau.

Thibodeau said at the press conference, "He embodies all the characteristics that you look for in a championship player. When you look at his will to win, his basketball IQ, unselfishness, his humility, I think those are the things you can build a championship caliber team around."

Rose is still in shock at his success and the opportunities he's gotten.

"I really can't explain it," he said. "I never thought in a million years that I would sign a contract like this and sometimes it makes me think like 'Why Me?'"

"I think the sky's the limit," Bulls general manager Gar Forman added. "Wherever his ceiling is, Derrick Rose will reach it."

Coby White focused on development, winning for Bulls, not All-Star weekend

Coby White focused on development, winning for Bulls, not All-Star weekend

On Friday, Coby White will find out if he makes the Rising Stars Challenge as part of All-Star weekend in Chicago.

“It would mean a lot,” White said Tuesday. “Hopefully, I’ll be one of the ones selected. But like I always say, if not, it's not the end of the world for me. I won't let it define who I am. But to represent Chicago in Chicago for All-Star weekend, it would be a big deal for me. It would be a blessing for sure.”

White said he hasn’t spoken to Lauri Markkanen or Kris Dunn about the experience, which pits prominent first- and second-year players in a Team USA vs. Team World format. Both of those Bulls have played in the contest, which is scheduled for Feb. 14.

“We’re just trying to focus on winning right now,” White said.

White has produced several memorable scoring binges this season, although the Bulls drafted him with the No. 7 pick in last June’s draft to eventually play a lead guard role. Coach Jim Boylen said White’s decision-making is “developing,” which is typical for young players.

“I’ve seen some terrific improvement from Coby in his decision-making, his ability to get us organized,” Boylen said. “We all know that he knows he has room to grow there. But he has focused on it, he’s been pounding the film. He watches the film with the assistant coaches and then he watches film with me before every game. We have about a 20-minute spot on game day that him and I sit and watch film, talk about situations.’’

Bulls' Jim Boylen on Victor Oladipo's return: 'It's good for the league'

Bulls' Jim Boylen on Victor Oladipo's return: 'It's good for the league'

One year and six days after rupturing his right quad tendon, Victor Oladipo is scheduled to make his return Wednesday against the Bulls.

The Pacers All-Star guard was averaging 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists when he went down.

“I'm very happy for him. He's a terrific kid, a terrific guy. That injury he had was a really tough one. I'm sure he's worked as hard as anybody, from what I know of him,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. “As I've said before, injuries in this league are heartbreaking. But he's a competitive guy and it's good for the league that he's back.”

The Pacers not only surprisingly weathered the storm of losing Oladipo to win 48 games and qualify for last season’s playoffs, they currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference at 30-17.

The Bulls, who are vying for their first three-game win streak of the season, are two games out of the playoffs as they begin a three-game trip.

“We had a moment in Orlando where we were playing a team that was close to us in the standings, that we were trying to catch, and we fell short in that moment,” Boylen said of a Dec. 23 road loss. “Now we're going to be in another situation where, first we've got a division opponent, then we have a team that we're chasing in the standings. So we'll see how we handle those situations.

“The beauty of this is we have a young group that's going to play some meaningful game. That's what we hoped for, that's the situation we're in and we'll see how we handle it. I expect this group to play hard and play together and we'll see what happens.” 

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