As Derrick Rose slowly walked into the United Center media room to speak publicly for the first time since suffering a second season-ending knee injury, the Miami Heat were just a few hundred feet away at their morning shootaround.
And though head coach Erik Spoelstra and the reigning world champions are focused on bouncing back from a home loss tonight against the Bulls, they also shared sentiments about the former MVP missing time and not being able to compete tonight when one of the budding rivalries in the NBA adds another chapter.
[RELATED: Rose doesn't rule out return this season]
"It’s tough. It’s not good for the league it’s not good for competition. You want to see the best players, you want to see all the players out there and may the best team win," Spoelstra said. "So you don’t want to see that, even against our competitor like this. We also know this Bulls organization is a tough-minded, professional organization. They’ll be there."
Bosh expects the rivalry to be as intense as ever, but still wishes Rose were in the lineup, echoing the statements his coach made.
"You never want to see a guy out for a whole season. I can only imagine what kind of situation he’s in. You work hard to come back and then you get kind of blindsided by an injury like that," Bosh said. "Truth be told, against competition and against the best, you always want to play them at their best, and it is disappointing that he’s hurt. But we wish him a speedy recovery and that’s all we can do."
The Heat are dealing with their own injury situation, albeit on a much smaller scale. Shooting guard Dwyane Wade, who sat Tuesday against the Pistons, missed the team's shootaround due to illness, and Spoelstra said he wasn't sure if the Chicago native would be available for tonight's contest. Wade has already missed four games this season.
Reserve center Chris Andersen did not travel with the team for personal reasons and is expected to be back for Saturday's matchup in Minnesota, per a tweet from the South Florida SunSentinel's Ira Winderman.