Because of his monotone voice and stoic facial expressions, for people who aren’t around him much, sometimes it’s hard to tell what truly excites Derrick Rose when he’s off the court. Well, here’s one thing: United Center shootarounds.
The Bulls held their morning shootaround Friday at the arena in the city, instead of their usual location, the Berto Center, their suburban practice facility in Deerfield. Several of the players—not to mention media—such as Rose, who has a place in the Trump Tower building, either live in downtown Chicago or have a residence there and for those who don’t, the team will spring for hotel rooms so they don’t have to head out to the suburbs and back. Either way, not having to brave the notorious Chicago traffic in order to get to the evening’s game changes the course of one’s day, as a grateful Rose explained.
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“Great, man. I got here in like five minutes, so it was pretty good. I can’t complain about that. I hope we continue to do that throughout the year, but you know how Thibs is. I try, man. It’s too hard right now. You know how he is. He’s crazy, so he’ll probably make us start up north at the beginning of the [regular] season,” the Chicago native said, growing animated. “We always tell him. We’ve been telling him that for like three years. He hasn’t listened yet. It’s hard getting to him. But hopefully he sees it, that everybody loves it, so I think he’ll change his mind.
For his part, Thibodeau claimed to be fine with switching venues, but from a purely basketball perspective, of course.
“It’s good, great, it’s different,” he said. “We have some new guys that want to get some more work down here, so I think it makes a lot of sense.”
When asked if United Center shootarounds could become a more regular occurrence, the coach quipped, “All of next year.
“The Berto is good, but sometimes a change of scenery is good, so I like it for those reasons, too.”
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From a practical standpoint, it might not happen on a regular basis, simply because the Berto Center is the organization’s basketball-operations department’s headquarters. Beginning next season, though, everything will be in one place, as the team’s new practice facility is being constructed adjacent to the United Center, right in the West Loop, making things convenient for Rose.
“I can’t wait, man,” he said. “I actually live like five minutes away, so me coming over here and getting in the gym whenever I want to, it’s kind of like having an indoor court at your house.”