While there is no reason to doubt the New York Daily News is reporting accurate information via a trusted source, the mild controversy that followed—part of the anti-Rose backlash that built last season and subsided prior to “The Return,” only to again rise as of late—is somewhat disturbing because the former league MVP wasn’t actually quoted directly. Furthermore, the picture that’s been painted in some corners, of a diva-like superstar putting his individual needs ahead of organizational success, seems to misinterpret the context of even the original report.
More than likely, if Rose did indeed tell sources that he was hesitant about the Bulls starting over, it should be seen as consistency and simple common sense from a player who was publicly supportive of the likes of former starting backcourt partner Keith Bogans, let alone more prominent teammates. That’s how at least Luol Deng sees it.
“My whole thing is what is he supposed to say?” Deng wondered, during an interview with CSNChicago.com. “Honestly, forget everything people are writing. It’s so easy—whatever writer wrote it, ask him to get a bunch of his friends and let’s say he plays in a tournament, and one of his friends gets hurt and they lose. He’s just going to go out there and say, ‘Yeah, get rid of all my friends. I need new friends,’ and every day wake up, and just look in the mirror and be a man?
“I think people don’t look at it that way. Derrick is very loyal. What happened, happened. But it’s very hard to—I know he doesn’t want it—but let’s say he wanted the team to be broken up. You want him to come out and say, ‘I want the team to be broken up,’ and then it’s the same guys he’s walking in with and dealing with every day? Just use that as an example and my whole thing is it’s easy to say it when it’s not you. It’s really easy to point fingers and say, ‘So-and-so should do this,’ when it’s not your own problem and the same people that are writing this, and they probably go home and they can’t tell their wife what they really want to say. Come on, man. Stuff like that really gets me going. It gets me going,” the All-Star small forward went on to say.
“It’s like a no-win situation. Okay, ‘Yeah, I want my teammates gone,’ and the next writer comes out: ‘Oh, you’ve been hurt and you want your teammates gone.’ It’s stupid.”