Rose’s First Practice: Hard Fouls, Old Instincts


DEERFIELD, Ill. – Derrick Rose was back practicing with the Chicago Bulls last winter, halfway through his 17-month rehab layoff following knee surgery. So the team’s morning session on two-a-day Saturday was a little blurred as a milestone.

What the media folks saw when the gym door opened at the tail end of practice this time, well, the whole NBA world saw before most of the Bulls’ games over the second half of last season: Rose in workout clothes, working on his shooting range and his free throws. No drama there, either.

But for a couple hours, in the Bulls’ initial practice of training camp, there were some differences – some subtle, others obvious – from what last spring mostly was shadow-boxing for Rose and his teammates.

The All-Star guard, whose May 2012 ACL surgery unexpectedly wiped out his entire 2012-13 season, stuck around for the 5-on-5 scrimmaging Saturday. Neither he nor the other players shied away from contact. He read, reacted, misfired in his timing and even made mistakes – but his instincts were triggering and he wasn’t overthinking.

“There were some hard fouls,” Rose said. “You got to get used to it. I didn’t think nothing of it. Just got up and shot the free throws.

“I was able to do a little bit more [than last season]. I was attacking a lot, getting to the line. … It’s just the way I play. I came in this league a driver, I’m going to continue to drive.”

Said Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau: “I’d say he doesn’t have to pace himself like he did. … The driving and finishing looked a lot better. And his timing’s still not there, but it’s a good start.

“The drills, working on the defense, he was fine. When we got to the scrimmage part, as it went along, he got better and better. I think the big thing, he has to get used to the contact, the physicality. Then of course, we haven’t put in our double-teams and things like that – we’re going to add that in so he gets comfortable with it.”

It’s not as if Thibodeau has posted an anti-bounty, with a fat fine for every guy who bangs into Rose. “The one big thing about him practicing last year, they got comfortable with that,” the coach said. “So they’re playing, they’re not thinking about [not hitting Derrick]. They’re going pretty hard.”

Rose said he planned to participate in Saturday’s evening session and every other scheduled practice, “pushing hard” through camp. His priorities are to boost his wind and – unrelated to his left knee – to get his legs in game shape. But after more than a year spent grinding through rehab, and that summer work in Los Angeles with peers such as Kevin Durant and Kevin Love, Rose is in stellar shape overall.

He has added a morning-and-night stretching regimen. Rose, who averaged 25.1 ppg in four seasons before sitting out 2012-13, also said he has added 10 pounds across his chest and arms, his waist now a bit smaller.

“I had workouts – don’t tell Thibs – harder than this [practice], man,” Rose said. “For real. I worked out like three times a day. So for us to actually go through practice and have water breaks and all that, that’s something I normally don’t do in my workouts.”

Like a lot of elite athletes forced by injuries to confront their physical vulnerability, Rose said he wished he knew about his body and training techniques what he has been forced to learn since the ACL blowout.

“I wish I would have learned this when I was a rookie,” said Rose, who will turn 25 Oct. 4. “People would always tell me, ‘Stretch’ and ‘Take care of your body.’ But when you’re healthy and talented the way some of these guys are … I was like, ‘I’m 22 years old, I don’t [need that.]’ It took an injury for me to really take care of my body.”


  1. mikevintage says:

    i have never seen a palyer like rose take the ball… he just simply amazing, no matter where he play he beat knicks celtics miami lakers and more


  2. Ro says:

    “Rose, who averaged 25.1 ppg in four seasons before sitting out 2012-13”
    I think i’m missing something here….
    Cant wait for this guy to come back! Say what you want about him and that he should have come back last year. You’re not him, you dont have his body, or mind. Get over it.
    Even if you think he’s soft for ‘sitting’ out, you cant argue that he’s right there with LeBron as the most exciting player in the league

  3. pierre says:

    The best part of the article is the quote at the about having an injury and learning to take care of his body. This is why he will again be great. Glad he’s back. So fun to watch. Amen.

  4. SYDALE says:

    It almost always takes an injury…

  5. Meykr says:

    Am I the only one thinking he might pull off an Adrian Peterson this season? AP almost broke the record the season he came back from his injury and DRose might just do the same thing this year. I hope he does. Just saying…..

  6. Vinh says:

    Thibodeau is the second best coach in the nba right now. Number 1 is obvious. Think dad.

  7. Oh please says:

    It funny to see what people expects from a guy that has been 1 year out the league. I sense a lot of disappointments this year.

  8. lol says:

    Hes ready now to get pwnt in the paint once again. gg his style of play is too reckless and his size not suitable for it.

  9. blazetheendlessblaze says:

    Ten more pounds across the chest and arms, and a smaller waist? Boy means business…

  10. Muhammed Jahangir says:

    Honestly Im not surprised. D Rose is one of the best players in the NBA! He was out but now hes back better than ever. Reading this i am even more confident that Derrick Rose can now bring another title to the Bulls.

  11. Jamal Joseph says:

    If you look at t-mac, you would appreciate d-rose not coming back too soon. Best of luck d-rose

  12. JMaine says:

    look LBJ Fan. all i want Rose to do is come back which he can, if anyone thinks he cant be better then what he was is dead wrong. The Bulls and Rose handle the situation wrong or the Media was twisting info. That’s the only issue i got wit Him. Today sport science players are able to have less then a year turn around with an ACL injury but not everyone’s the same Drose did the right thing with his talents and skill set. He is one of the most athletic player the game has ever seen. Lets see what happens nxt season Wish him the best.

    • sports fan says:

      This article isn’t about Rondo, it’s about Rose playing hard in his first practice. You need to comment with a little bit of intelligence with relevance to the article.

  13. WILL says:


  14. williams says:

    I’ve seen a lot of basketball players who injured their knees rather than the ankle whom never played the same as before.. sad but true,. As a player who loves to jump and aggressive on the board, I’ve injured my left knee too in 2010, haven’t played in 2 years but when i do, i settled only for a jump shot all my games, I’ts very frustrating to have limited moves because of that injury.

  15. JeffX says:

    Anyone who has had this injury knows what he is and has gone through. To get back to the court at all is a major acheivement. Everyone who complains he didn’t play last year during the playoffs, the what if’s etc, clearly know absolutely nothing about damaging the cartiledges in your knee, and to all those people who said all the hateful stuff you need to pull your head out of your collective @r$e$. Good luck Drose if you’re half as good as you were you will still be better than most.

    • Sandal says:

      Well said

    • I agree, I got tired of the know-nothing idiots babbling on and on about D-Rose like they were his damn doctor. D-Rose did what he had to do to ensure a 100% comeback and I applaud him for that.

      By the way, I think that stuff about Kobe coming back real early because he has so much dedication is all a bunch of noise.

  16. drosebulls01 says:

    Best wishes D. Rose! Hope your health is sustained. I’m looking at another 25ppg, 9 apg & 6 rpg. Rose is now only entering his prime. These expectations are certainly realistic, barring any relapse of course. Let ’em have all of it Rose.

  17. Chris says:

    I have to say I have been waiting in anticipation for D-Rose’s return. It took me a while to finally admit it, but he is better than Rajon Rondo, through the impact his loss had on the Bulls I can see clearly that he is one of the great players in the game today.

    • TalkisCheap says:

      Umm they did good without him and with several other starters injured so what are you talking about exactly what impact do you mean

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        all this hype on “the return of rose”… hopefully he’s “mentally ready” … Rose wont be himself until atleast another year
        The Bulls are still not going anywhere this year, Deng will be gone after this season if not get traded halfway through because the bulls didn’t want to give him a contract extension, and they lost nate robinson who was their x-factor and gave them a huge boost off the bench..

      • wilo says:

        They did gppd but the bulls are pne of the best 4 teams on the leafue when rose is in their roster…

      • jaykwan says:

        The loss of Rose was the loss of any offensive competence, the loss of 15 wins, and the loss of title contention. He bottoms out as a top-10 player. That the Bulls were able to win 45 games and a playoff series is a testament to the rest of the team and Thibs, but it doesn’t dwarf Rose’s importance.