Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Bulls Say Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah Should Get a Standing O in Chicago Return
If Brooklyn native Taj Gibson gets his wish, the world champion Chicago Cubs won’t be the only ones getting an ovation in the Windy City on Friday.
Gibson believes Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah should get such a reception when they return to Chicago with the Knicks (8 p.m. ESPN).
“The crowd should give them a good standing ovation,” Gibson told the Chicago Tribune. “They gave Chicago a lot of blood, sweat and tears.”
This will be the only appearance for Rose, the former No. 1 overall pick of the Bulls, in Chicago this year, while the Bulls come to Madison Square Garden twice.
“Going back to Chicago, I really don’t know what to expect,” Rose told the Bull’s Website. “I know it’s going to be love. I know there will be some totally opposite, couple of boos here and there. But, really, I just want to win the game.”
The Bulls (3-1) are doing just fine without Rose and Noah, having replaced Rose in the backcourt with Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo.
The Knicks (1-3), meantime, are struggling, especially defensively, where they have given up 112, 119, and 118 points in their three losses. The Bulls have put up 100+ points in three of four games, including 118 in two of their three victories.
“It sucks,” Rose said per the New York Post. “I’ve been on teams where there’s a culture, and we’re trying to build a defensive culture here, and it takes time.”
As for his time growing up in Chicago, Rose told the Bulls’ Website how he used to have to hustle to make money to help his mother make ends meet.
“It was tough growing up (in South Side Englewood, one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods). It’s why I took school as I did,” he said. “I could have done all the work, but at the time we were just trying to survive, me and my mom. My job every day was getting up trying to find ways to hustle; not where I’m selling drugs or anything, but things like shooting dice, shooting jump shots to get a few dollars for my mom. I pumped gas. I was a light skinned kid. My other friends, they all looked rough, so since I was a light skinned kid I’d go up to you and say can I pump your gas. I did that, I shot jump shots for money. Anything to try to take the load off my mom. She’d get a check for $700 or some weeks didn’t even get paid, one time a whole month. She’d get $600 or $700 and after paying the bills would have $100 to spend and for two weeks. And having a kid. How are you supposed to do that?”
Rose said his one major regret was never winning an NBA title in Chicago.
“Not winning a championship is really the only thing that stands out,” he told the Bulls Website. “Being traded. I never thought I’d be traded. I was very surprised even with everything that happened. B.J. (Armstrong) called and he told me it’s a chance. I was emotional. I didn’t tell my mom. People were calling, coach Cal, my brothers, friends, seeing how I was doing. At first I was emotional. It was sad, devastating at first. But after awhile I thought about how strong my faith is. I knew it’s nothing He would put on my plate I can’t handle, so I took it as a blessing.
“Even though you heard talks, I was thinking no matter what happens at least I have one more year with the Bulls,” said Rose. “It was damn, but it motivated me and made me go harder in my workouts. It was sad because I also thought about my son. How would I see him? I thought about him, the fans, the city, the Bulls. I had so many visions of winning a championship there.”
Ironically, Rose and Noah return to Chicago the day the Cubs are celebrating with a parade.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.