Derrick Rose’s 2015-16 campaign is off to a strange, and painful start, but there’s plenty of optimism in Chicago around the 2011 NBA MVP.

Based on the results of his offseason training, the Bulls’ management and coaching staff are expecting great things from their superstar point guard.

According to John Calipari, who coached Rose at the University of Memphis, the 26-year-old is confident about leading Chicago to a title and winning his second MVP award.

From the Bulls’ team website:

“Back in July, I called Derrick to check in and talk to him about how he was doing and how his workouts were going,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman related. “Derrick said, ‘You know, Gar, this is really the first summer in several years where I’ve been able to train.’ He was talking about how he felt physically, being able to do basketball specific training and work on his game and work in the weight room. Whereas the previous summers, it had all been rehab. I guess it kind of struck me then, everything he’d been through, and now he’s full time training for basketball. He looks terrific. Physically he’s in a good place, mentally he’s in a good place.”

 

“I went out and visited him in LA and saw the explosiveness and loved the training that he did,” said new Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg. “I saw him in the weight room in the morning and then got with him on the floor in the afternoon. Getting back here, seeing him in the gym, he’s got his explosiveness right now. And watching where he finished the year, re-watching the Milwaukee and Cleveland series, he finished the year playing at a very high level. I think he’s taking that momentum of how that season finished into his offseason program. I think Derrick’s in terrific shape right now. He’s done really good things with his body and having that whole summer where he hasn’t been rehabbing and being able to add to his game is very important. I anticipate Derrick getting off to a great start.”

 

“I say where are you?” Calipari related during the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame week ceremonies earlier this month when Calipari was being enshrined. “He says, ’Coach, I’m telling you, I’m coming back.’ He said, ‘I want to win a championship for Chicago and I’m going to be the MVP again.’ […] “I hung up,” Calipari recalled, “and I went right to Gar Forman and said, ‘It’s back on. I’m just telling you.’”