Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011
Posted 10:40 p.m. Updated 11:46 p.m.
By Aggrey Sam
LOS ANGELES Derrick Roses modest stat line Sunday 11 points, five assists, three rebounds and a steal didnt come close to approximating the Bulls point guards typical performance, but despite his relatively quiet evening and the fact that his East team lost, 148-143, the third-year superstar wasnt overly disappointed.
Not at all, answered the ever-competitive Rose when asked how if he felt badly about the defeat at the hands of the West. The regular season, Id die for one of those games. Those are very important, but this is for the fans.
Just being able to see the fans, he continued when asked about his favorite part of the weekend. The fans here are great, came out to support us. I hope they had fun. Ive got a lot of fans here cheering me on, cheering the team on. I wouldnt take it back for anything. It was exciting.
As for the game itself, the West team hopped out to an early lead, buoyed by the scoring of hometown favorite Kobe Bryant of the Lakers and Oklahoma City small forward Kevin Durant (34 points). Bryant (37 points) won the games MVP award, the fourth occasion hes taken home the honor in the leagues annual affair.
Both teams were really going at first, then the West got up by a large amount. But we fought our way back in, made it kind of a tough game, said Rose. It was too late. It was definitely too late. Thats what we get for waiting that long.
Its an All-Star game. Its not like everybodys playing their top defense, he continued. Youre not on your team, so other than talking and communicating with each other, its real hard to tell people to play a certain type of defense.
Although Roses East teammate, Miamis LeBron James, recorded a triple-double (29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) and sparked the conferences near-comeback, Rose came away most impressed with Bryants performance.
I have to say Kobe. He was out there doing his thing and thats what he normally does. He loves games like this. Thats why hes one of the best players in the NBA, marveled Rose. He played great. You kind of knew that he was going to try to show out tonight, especially being in his hometown. The Lakers are here, the fans are here. You kind of knew he was going to come out and go for it.
Rose, whos used to having the ball in his hands as a dual scoring-playmaking threat, also discussed the difficulty of keeping his high-powered teammates happy in the exhibition contest.
These games are hard, man. Theyre definitely hard for me. Its just one game, youre out there and youre just playing, playing with great players and Im a point guard. So, getting people the ball, trying to feed people, find people in the open court thats what point guards are basically used for in this type of game, he explained. If Im shooting too much what other guys are thinking and stuff like that it comes into play, especially playing on a team with people youve only been practicing with only one time.
Still, he did appreciate the fact that the likes of the aforementioned James could also share ballhandling responsibilities.
Rose stated: If anything, you get rest. You see how rested you get when you dont have the ball in your hands all the time. Coach Thibs only has a couple plays where the ball isnt in my hands when Im in the game, so Ill probably have to tell him to put some more in.
However, Rose did admit to being slightly disappointed in his outing, specifically his slow start, as he scored only two points in the first half.
Benny the Bull caught "Bieber Fever," after spotting pop icon Justin Bieber sitting courtside for the NBA All-Star game on Sunday. (AP)
Not being prepared for the game. I didnt shoot in a couple of days. Not practicing when we were supposed to practice, said Rose. All that comes into play, so Ive got to get back in rhythm, get back to my routine and hopefully do well in the next game that we play in.
All about the shoes
Rose created a minor fashion stir by first wearing a yellow version of his signature shoes, then switching over to the latest update of the model, Adidas adi Rose Zero 1.5, which hell wear for the remainder of the NBA season.
I heard about it the yellow shoes the whole game, said Rose of his eye-catching footwear, which were themed after the colors of his alma mater, Simeon Career Academy. Other players teased him Why did adidas put you in those shoes and stuff like that, but it was all fun and games. Theyre my shoes, so I love them.
I came up with the idea about wearing the yellow ones, then wearing my new shoes that Im going to wear the rest of the year and adidas kind of listens to everything I tell them, he continued. Shout out to Simeon because I didnt wear No. 25 (the number he wore in high school; Simeons top player traditionally wears that number in memory of slain 1980s Simeon star Ben Wilson) they thought that I was going to wear No. 25 when I came into the NBA, but I went with No. 1 so the yellow shoes are definitely for them.
Back to business
Even with the light-hearted nature of the weekend, Rose turned serious when discussing the Bulls season, which he has even higher hopes for with the impending return of center Joakim Noah from injury.
Just keep winning. Stay focused, keep winning and play with an edge. It seems like every time we play with an edge, we always have success, so thats what were going to try to do, said Rose. Weve got to keep balling. We cant take any steps back where its hurting us. If anything, I think itll help that Joakim is coming back because he brings energy and hes a great guy.
His conditioning looks all right, but its nothing like game condition. We have a lot of confidence in him when he comes back, he continued. Hes shooting the ball well right now. Hes got the cast off now and is shooting well. I think when he comes back, hell probably shoot a jump shot in a normal game because hes been working on it.
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.