INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—What do you get the man who has all he ever wanted?
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For Derrick Rose’s 25th birthday, a night of rest on the road before his real present the following evening, his first NBA game in 526 days.
“I get time to rest. I was with my son all last night, and now go on the road, first time on the road with this team, and we probably have dinner with the team. After that get some sleep. Nothing exciting, man, I live a boring life,” he said of his plans for the night, following the Bulls’ practice at the Berto Center, after which they departed for Indianapolis, where they’ll face the Central Division rival Pacers in both teams’ preseason opener.
“I’m getting old,” Rose quipped. “Came into this league when I was 19, just happy to still be here producing.’’
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Due to being in the spotlight of the basketball world since he was a teenager, becoming the youngest MVP in league history, suffering a devastating ACL injury and finally being set to return, the Chicago native could be weary by now, but he insisted that he was grateful to experience a major setback early in his career.
“I’m happy to go through it at a young age,” Rose explained. “A big injury, learning how to train my body and take it as a blessing.’’
Rose revealed that Bulls rookies Tony Snell and Erik Murphy crooned “Happy Birthday” for him at practice, though their singing performance apparently had much to be desired.
“They were terrible, but we’ll probably have to make them do a re-do or something like that, make them do it over,” he joked. “But they’re great rookies.”
As for his other teammates, All-Star center Joakim Noah deadpanned, “He doesn’t need anything,” when asked if he gave Rose a birthday present.
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Predictably, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau wasn’t in the business of gift-giving either.
“No, I didn’t,” the coach said. “We all wished him happy birthday.”
No matter, the best present he’ll get will come the next day anyway.