Derrick Rose Says Bulls’ Front-Office Made Him Sit Out Game in Brazil

According to Chicago Bulls superstar point guard Derrick Rose, he could’ve played on Saturday against the Washington Wizards in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The team felt it was smarter for Rose to sit the exhibition game out due to “minor” knee soreness. Per the Chicago Tribune: “The Bulls held Rose out of their 83-81 exhibition victory over the Wizards at HSBC Arena on Saturday with left knee soreness that team officials termed ‘minor.’ With nothing structurally wrong with Rose’s surgically-repaired knee, no MRI planned and Rose even dressing to warm up with his teammates and then sit on the bench, that certainly looks true. But nothing is minor with any NBA superstar, particularly one who’s the face of a franchise and returning from sitting out an entire season. ‘I’m good,’ Rose said. ‘I could’ve played, but the front office made the decision to sit me out. I can’t complain about it. It’s nothing huge. I know that I should be able to go next game.’ Not minor, either, is one of the game’s most recognizable faces sitting out the NBA Global Games’ first foray into a growing market — where Rose’s jersey is the top-seller — long ruled by soccer. Fans chanted Rose’s name in Portuguese between the third and fourth quarters. ‘We never anticipated a straight line,’ said John Paxson, Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations. ‘He had a little soreness and we are being ultra-conservative because it’s the third game of preseason. We respect tremendously the fact that we’re in Brazil and what that means and we’d love for everybody to play, Joakim (Noah, who sat with a sore groin) too. But the reality is it’s too early to press anything. We know in this day and age that people are going to come up with some theory. It is minor knee soreness and we’re going to let him work through this the next day or two. That’s it.’ Asked if this is why management wanted Rose to return last season — to get such starts and stops out of the way — Paxson didn’t bite. ‘It’s irrelevant,’ he said. ‘The decision was made to not play last year and now we’re going through this. Our goal is this season, the regular season and getting to the playoffs. We know there’s nothing structurally to be worried about. It’s just a little soreness. If it was any other player, we’d do the same thing.’ Rose, of course, isn’t any other player. And his soreness jarringly contrasted with how great he has said he has felt throughout training camp. As recently as Thursday, Rose said he was surprised with how good he has felt throughout. General manager Gar Forman said Rose’s soreness began during the latter portion of Friday’s practice that was closed to reporters. Rose didn’t finish the session. ‘If there’s soreness, then we’re going to rest,’ Forman said. ‘Any time you’re dealing with any type of injury or soreness you’re concerned. But it’s not a major red flag or huge concern.’ Rose said he knows he will be ready for the regular-season opener in just more than two weeks against the Heat and added he wasn’t startled or nervous about this speed bump.”