Rose on his legacy: I want to be a clutch player

Rose on his legacy: I want to be a clutch player
January 31, 2012, 12:20 am
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WASHINGTON Immediately after Sunday afternoons loss to the Heat in Miami, Derrick Rose revealed his extreme disappointment, most of which centered around, apart from the defeat itself, his two missed free throws in the final minute of the contest. Prior to the Bulls Monday night game against the Wizards, the reigning league MVP echoed those sentiments, but far from his crestfallen demeanor after the game, he voiced a determination to get past the high-profile failure.

Im fine. I can deal with it. My teammates, theyve got to roll with me through the good and the bad. I know if I ever get in that position again, itll be totally different, said Rose, showing even more of a swagger and confidence than in the past. You know, at first, it definitely hurt, knowing that I never would have thought in a million years that I would miss both free throws, but at that time, it definitely hurt. Talked to a few people, you know people try to encourage you. I know if I get in that position again, which I am, it will be a different outcome.

Thats something I live for. I think of my legacy. I want people to think of me as being a clutch player, someone that always comes through, majority of the time, when theyre on the court and Sunday, it hurt a little bit, but I know itll help me in the long run, he continued. If anything, Im just hurt for not only me, but the city of Chicago, knowing how big that game was, not only to me and to the organization, but to the city and our fans all over. Thats a rivalry there and you had your best player up there, had the opportunity to take the lead and I didnt come through. The only thing I can do is hope that they stay with me, stick with me and I promise that I wont let them down again.

Rose refused to take solace in the fact the constantly short-handed Bulls were missing small forward Luol Deng, the teams second-best player, and reserve stalwart C.J. Watson, who could have spelled Rose for at least few minutes Sunday.

Dont get me wrong, thats all good, but we still had an opportunity to win and we didnt. In the NBA, theres no excuses, no matter whos playing, whos out, whos injured, said Rose, putting the loss in perspective. It was huge because it was our next game, but losing to them in the playoffs, of course, with that history, we definitely wanted to win that game Sunday. I think we put ourselves in a position to win and I just didnt come through. I think if I would hit those two free throws, it would have changed the game, but it didnt work that way.

But when asked if there would be any carry-over from his disappointment to Mondays game, Rose was steadfast in his response.

Oh, hell no. Hell no, said Rose, who cited the NCAA championship game during his lone college season at Memphis ironically, he lost to Kansas, whose hero was Heat starting point guard Mario Chalmers as the last time he can recall coming up short in the clutch individually. It just makes me hungry, where tonight, Im going to try to go crazy.

On the other hand, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, equipped with a similar competitive spirit, was adamant in not discussing Sundays game.

We dont look backwards. All were doing is looking at tonights game against Washington, be ready to play. Thats all. Theyre a team, youve got to be ready for their speed and intensity, he said. I dont want our focus to be on Sunday. I want it to be on today and thats all were thinking about.

As for Rose, the All-Star point guard claimed his turf-toe injury doesnt affect him anymore.

I dont feel it anymore. My biggest thing now is just getting rest, he said. My toe is all right, been getting treatment on it, so Im fine with that. Its just getting rest and getting the proper sleeping time.

Ive been making sure Im eating good. I stopped eating sweets as much. Getting rest, sleeping. Really, just laying around in my bed, getting off my feet and eating-wise, I only eat chicken. I dont eat beef, pork or fish, so I think Im eating OK, Rose continued, explaining a health kick partially motivated by the condensed schedule. Just sugar, period. Candy. Thats something Ive stoppedIve slowed down, I would sayand Im still working on it.

Rose also talked about how being a Chicago native, he feels even more of a responsibility to his hometown team.

I wouldnt say a burden, but I like seeing my city happy, especially if Im one of the reasons why. I know what we went through after Mike left and all the years people didnt really watch the Bulls and for them to start watching the Bulls, and for the organization, get our fans back, it means a lot to me, knowing that when you see people, theyve got Bulls hats on, Bulls apparel on. It means a lot to me, he said.