Thibs On Rose: ‘I think He’s There Now’


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — It’s a couple of months late, of course, but Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is apparently back to being, well … Derrick Rose.

So says Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who recently worked Rose out and had rave reviews for the former MVP and All-Star point guard who missed the entire season recovering from ACL surgery.

Granted, this is the news that Bulls fans were hoping for in February, March and even early April, as they sweated out whether or not Rose would return in time to help the Bulls in their playoff push that ended at the hands of the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Mid-June is obviously a little late for the Bulls to do anything but crank up the expectations for next season, what with the news that Rose is back to his old explosive self again. More from Jon Greenberg of

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose’s speed and explosiveness are back to where the former MVP feels like himself again.

“I worked him out about a week ago,” Thibodeau said in a phone conversation Thursday. “It was great.”

Rose missed the entire season rehabbing from a torn ACL in his left knee suffered during last year’s playoffs. His longer-than-expected absence, and the ensuing debate about it, was the overwhelming storyline during a challenging Bulls season that ended in a second-round loss to the Miami Heat.

Last season is over, and Thibodeau is looking to the future.

“Watching the way he’s moving now, there’s a confidence,” Thibodeau said. “[Reporters] may not have been able to see the total work he was putting in. But he was putting in an enormous amount of work each and every day. He just never got to the explosiveness he was comfortable with. I think he’s there now. He feels great, and that’s the most important thing.”

He said Rose is “running, lifting, playing and shooting. His day is full.”

Thibodeau also cleared up one bit of information that bothered me throughout the Rose playoffs/comeback drama. We kept hearing about how Rose was dominating in practice after being cleared by the Bulls’ medical staff to resume normal activity. I couldn’t imagine him being that impressive and not returning to action. Thibodeau confirmed my suspicion:

“The kid was being totally honest,” Thibodeau said. “At the end of the day, you have to respect that. He wanted to be out there very badly. But no one knew when he would be ready, including him. It was a smart decision to wait. If you’re not quite sure, and you’re going to err, err on the side of caution. That’s what he did. And now he feels great.”

While reports speculated that Rose was dominating his teammates in the gym, Thibodeau says now that wasn’t the case.

“He was practicing and he was good sometimes, but he also wasn’t able to make the kinds of plays he likes to make,” Thibodeau said. “No one is more explosive and can change direction like him. He had to be capable of doing that.

“That’s what makes him so unique, how quick and explosive he is,” Thibodeau continued. “He can jump sideways to avoid contact. He’s always hopping around. That’s a lot on your knee. You have to be comfortable doing that. He takes off and he doesn’t take long to go from securing the ball to exploding and blowing by somebody.”

The criticism of Rose seemed overblown at the time, a point that Joakim Noah, Nate Robinson and the rest of his teammates made clear during the firestorm. And all of this latest news only reinforces the point that we should have taken Rose at his word when he said he was not ready to return in a fashion he saw fit.


  1. I hop da best for up its not easy but dat your career

  2. kobeballhog says:

    Kobe a real champion??? a real ball hog that is, he will never be the best only the best ball hog player ever.

  3. chase says:

    Jesus will return before D. Rose does

  4. pain@18 says:

    D’rose deserve that mvp..but if LBJ stayed in cavs,he won’t win that..

  5. CommonNonsense says:

    Being a former college basketball player and someone who also underwent surgery, I respect Rose’s decision not to come back. Yes, he was the league’s MVP at one point in time, yes, he is the team leader, yes, he is making a lot of money, yes, he probably could have came back and played at a high level, but above all of this is the importance of his overall health and it certainly would have been in jeopardy if he would have come back early. Athlete’s get anxious when coming back from a serious injury because they want to come back and be all the things they’re getting paid to be, ie the team leader. Only though then to hurt themselves again. If I was a Bulls fan I would be looking for Rose to be playing at the level he was at whenever he dunked over Dragic.

  6. J says:

    yes!!! lets hope his numbers dont drop off dramatically

  7. Uberbunk says:

    Im glad DRose Waited, good for him and his team, they had his back through the whole thing and played excellent BBall, with Rose back for next season my Miami heat might have a real challenge ahead ofthem in the playoffs…will be exciting. Glad your good now Rose.

  8. bullsfansincebirth says:

    he will come back.

    Chicago will win another championship.

    Kobe will retire soon.

    Miami will lose this series.

    Tim Duncan will have 5.

    Long way to go for Oklahoma

    Charlotte will be in a better position next year

    Also with the Brooklyn nets and Cleveland cavs

    2013 -14 will be an exciting season

  9. gg says:

    sigh, you guys will be sorry when rose recovers fully. he wasnt a MVP for no reason.
    You dont understand an injury until you really have it, or if youre a doctor.
    it doesnt matter that they cleared him, that just meant that he could play with his current knees, but with his style, his knees have to be 100%

  10. Andy says:

    I don’t really mind having Nate play PG more than Hinrich actually.. he’s exciting to watch and plays with his heart.

  11. Remy says:

    Hope Rose will fully recover. A shame he could not play all season. Despite me being a Heat fan, he was missed all season.

  12. El Tenidor says:

    Yup, he’s 100% now like T-Mac Lol.

  13. bryon says:

    that is B.S. bullsfantastic

  14. Kimmy says:

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Tired of seeing him sitting on the sidelines w/ the goofy look on his face. Tired of you all talking about him. When the Chicago Bulls play their first game, I want to see him in uniform, on the court, playing basketball. Let’s do this! Enough already!

  15. E k says:

    It doesn’t even deserve to be talked about look at Kobe a real champion n He is on the way back beginning of the season now that’s what I respect A man that wants to help his team to be there for them , not some self player !!

  16. cp10 says:

    Now he’ll tear the right ACL if he keeps abusing his knees

  17. sin says:

    Yeah that’s right
    rose should be trade to another team that have the capability wining a ring,
    the Heat,the lakers or somewhere else.
    OR bring some Players in bulls like D-howard,…

  18. TheTruth says:

    If you guys didn’t understand, Bull’sFanTastic was saying Rose is the 2nd best player on a team in the nba… Not that Rose is the 2nd best player on his team. It helps if your read a comment clearly before you actually put up a response…

    • A curious fellow says:

      I heard formulating your comment properly to prevent ambiguity is a pretty wise thing to do as well.

  19. Erlo says:

    D-Rose is garbage. Shoots well below 50% and turns the ball over all the time. Just another Allen Iverson clone. ANd his MVP year? Bahaha. Look at Lebron James or Dwight Howard’s numbers that year … yea … not the MVP.

    • Jalen McQueen says:

      Your dumb…how could somebody be garbage but win the MVP? Stop being a hater and recognize the great player he is

  20. Miami - Cuba connection says:

    We need DRose …with out him we HEAT , can not win another Championship in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We want Rose…………………..We want Rose…..We want Rose……………

  21. theholyspectator says:

    who cares about this right now? we got an intense finals goin on, we heard about this dufus about will he or wont he come back the past 5 months, can we wait til the next season to talk about this guy again?

  22. dave says:

    I’ve had 5 knee surgeries on the same knee. Its not a mental thing, its just the body healing and letting you know when its ready to go.

    The whole thing of Rose being soft or whatever I think is a load of BS. People heal differently, it can take time.

    Sure, getting confidence is a factor, but again, your body lets you know when its ready. If there is apprehension or joint instability sensation, its there for reason, i.e. your body is telling you that you will screw something up if you push too hard.

  23. baboy says:

    the bulls are done.. even with d rose back their bench that carried them to ECF is gone.. and they cant sign any better players because of the salary cap.. give up the dream man the bulls arent going to win any championship in this decade..

  24. theflowson says:

    and then watch next season when Rose returns to his MVP form from 2-3 years ago, the same so called Chicago fans that chastised Derrick for sitting the playoffs and disrespected him will be the ones that swear that they supported him 100 percent and be all up on his back.

    • Murray says:

      that’s if he returns to that form. For the games sake, I hope he does and doesn’t end up like T-Mac or Roy

  25. sports fan says:

    At the beginning of next season Derrick Rose will show the world why he needed to come back 100% physically & mentally ready. If the Bulls stay healthy they’ll be in the finals.

    • NOwestbrookNOring says:

      I hope they do make the finals. Anyone but the heat. As far as Rose goes….he is overrated big time. He is smart for not coming back in the middle of the playoffs though. They still would have lost and he would of got the blame. I would not have came back either. He will be fresh and ready to go next year. I think the bulls will be pretty good next year if everyone is healthy. They have a great coach and I like their toughness.

  26. Arnel says:

    For me it is a good decision for D-rose to sit the entire season. The guy is simply being honest like his coach said. He knows when he will be totally ready and when he is.., watch out.. he will be the old D-rose we used to see. at least i hope.

  27. sam says:

    you guys are truly moronic, congrats

  28. Kamote says:

    People just don’t get how hard it is for someone who tore his knee would then compete (even if he is cleared to play) in a playoff series against the reigning champs in the most competitive basketball league in the world. Everyone are free to voice their opinions, but please, have a little common sense.

    Even if Rose risked his career playing against the Heat in the playoffs, the team was never even healthy (Deng, Noah, Hinrich) anyway, so what’s the point? So the Bulls’ would get their money’s worth? How would that happen then if Rose reinjures his ACL again and thus ending his career?

    This coming season, Rose is 100%. Noah, Deng and Hinrich have recuperated from their wounds throughout the year and the Bull’s management can have another move or two to improve the team. They’ll be back to be one of the East’s elites once again.

    • Dzej says:

      risk his career? whatchu talkin bout willis? he could easily come back after allstar weekend without any risk of comming back too early.

      • A curious fellow says:

        Are you implying an ACL tear recovery is rocket science like that? Some people simply never recover fully.

      • JP says:

        I sprained my MCL and after 18 months I got a physical and was cleared to play college baseball again. My knee STILL buckles from time to time (couple years later now). How many times do you see a guy come back and get re-injured? A year from now everybody that is saying Rose should have came back better not be watching the Bulls and cheering for him. Two-faced little kids about this. Stop being so damn fickle because it makes you sound like an idiot.

  29. jOLAN says:

    D Rose is the best player on that team. He isn’t the leader though. I don’t blame him for not returning last year, if he wasn’t ready, then he wasn’t ready (it was probably a lot of mental issues there, he needed to really believe in his knee). If he comes out this year and performs like he did before he left, no one will question anything about not coming back soon enough. I don’t even like him that much, but he was one of the most exciting players to watch. He was MVP for a reason.

  30. Ro says:

    Best 2nd guy? Do you mean like the 2nd best player on his team? Yeah ok. 2nd guys dont win MVP’s ya clown.
    I love how some people think they can judge a player’s physical condition, based on what? You have no idea if he’s truly ready. As Thibs said, the way he plays, he has to be completely ready to be explosive again.
    Get a clue about basketball mate

  31. Troof says:

    It was known that Rose was sitting out this entire season but they did not make that info public.
    His people and the organization wanted to keep people hoping for a return that was never going to happen so the tickets would keep selling.

    Fans and non-fans that criticize Rose don’t know anything. He is a humble, hard working/hard playing leader and anyone that says otherwise must be brain dead.

    • chris44 says:

      It was rather clear that the guy was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that’s why he was not able to return during playoffs where the psychological strain is much greater than in regular season. Nobody in the Bulls organisation had the courage to use these words (PTSD), since it would harm Rose’s image and make him look vulnerable and not the franchise player they hoped he would be.

  32. Us buck says:

    No! No! No! D- Rose was not hurt–he suffered a devastating injury! Instant gratification is for idiots.

  33. fan says:

    ^^ You are both idiots. He took his time because he is the face of the franchise and plans to be there for the long haul. If he came back in time for playoffs he would have had to go full out with little rest time cause of all the injuries and have a huge risk of sitting another season.

  34. IAMIDIOT says:

    right now we don’t care try next season. D ROSE should be traded, nate rob perfect fit for bulls

  35. Bull'sFanTastic says:

    Unless Rose got a heart transplant in all this, all he really proved is that he is the best 2nd guy on a team that the league has to offer. The Chicago Bulls, thus, need a true leader, since a true leader would have been there.