LeBron James admires Derrick Rose's conviction

LeBron James admires Derrick Rose's conviction
October 27, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Tony Andracki

When Derrick Rose sat out all of last season to recover from knee surgery, the Bulls superstar came under fire from NBA fans and analysts nationwide.

But one guy had no issue with Rose's course of action.

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LeBron James told reporters he admires Rose for not giving in to public pressure to rush back to the court.

"I'm happy and thrilled he's back," LeBron said. "I'm happy with what he did last year, to be able to stand strong throughout everything, throughout all of the adversity of everybody criticizing him about what he should do. He did what was best for him."

The Bulls met LeBron's Heat in the second round of last year's playoffs and stunned the world with a Game 1 victory as Rose looked on in street clothes, tuning out the noise from the outside world.

Rose has silenced critics with an emphatic preseason and will meet up with LeBron and Co. in Miami to open the 2013-14 season Tuesday night as the two teams rekindle their rivalry.

LeBron and teammate Dwyane Wade -- a Chicago native -- admitted Rose's return to the court is a great thing for the game of basketball.

[MORE: Has Derrick Rose reclaimed his spot as a Top 5 player in the NBA?]

"You never want to see anyone get hurt, especially a player of D-Rose's caliber," Wade told ESPN.com. "Just because I'm a competitor doesn't mean I don't understand the importance of Derrick Rose to basketball.

"So it's good to see him back and good to see him confident. He's going to make it tougher on everybody."