With the NBA season almost here, it marks the return of Bulls star Derrick Rose after 17 months away with a torn ACL suffered in the 2012 playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Rose received significant criticism from fans and media alike after not coming back for the Bulls' playoff run in 2013 that saw the team fall in the second round to the Miami Heat for the second time in three seasons.
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Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant worked out with Rose this summer and in an interview on Sports Talk Live on Comcast SportsNet Tuesday, he said Rose missing the past season to rehab his knee was the right decision.
“He’s been looking great. It was really good for him to take the whole year off," Durant said. "A lot of people criticized him for it and were really upset about him not playing, but it was the best thing for him. I can tell, because he looks better.”
Durant also talked about the impact that he expects Rose to have on a Bulls team that many believe can contend for an NBA championship this season.
“Well he’s an MVP," Durant said. "He’s a high-level player. If you lose that, of course you’re not going to be as good as you were before. But I love Coach Thibs and I love what he brings to the table. Their defense is one of the best I’ve ever seen. So that gets them by, but I think they need an extra push from the offense and that’s what D-Rose brings to the table. So explosive, so great, just a great person all around. I really enjoy watching him play. He is one of the few players I would go pay to see play. He is going to make them even better this year.”
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Durant also talked about Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and the respect he has for the Bulls boss.
“I had the chance to talk to coach Thibs a little bit. I was working out with D-Rose this summer a couple of times, and he stopped by one time," Durant said. "I had the opportunity to talk to him, just to pick his brain. With him being a new head coach, he’s been around the game for a long time, around so many great minds. He just told me how he approached every single day with his team, and managing egos, managing different feelings and emotions from different players and how he brings it together.
"He doesn’t worry about anything but the game of basketball. He doesn’t worry about contracts, issues, none of that. He just worries about the game of basketball, and I really respect that. I really enjoyed my time talking with him, and he opened my eyes to a lot of different things. I can see why the Chicago Bulls are so successful.”