Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose made his presence felt last year and firmly established himself among the NBA’s elite. Along with the addition of Tom Thibodeau and Carlos Boozer, Chicago surprised many by earning the Eastern Conference’s top seed and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals.
Rose turned in an MVP season in averaging 25.0 points per game and 7.0 assists per game. Both of those are career highs for the third year player.
Obviously Rose can get better at just 22 years old and he too expects himself and his team to get better whenever the NBA starts up again.
Rose told Raul Barrigon of HoopsHype that he expects to win multiple championships in his career. And that he believes Chicago can do it without making major changes to their roster.
“It was great but I’m not satisfied,” Rose said of his MVP season. “I won’t be satisfied until I win a championship. I’m not satisfied at all. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I’m not going to win a championship. I’m going win multiple championships. It’s not a doubt in my mind.
“Everybody is working out hard right now. If everyone comes in and works on their game, I think that we have a good shot of winning without getting anybody to come to my team. I think everything was just so new. . . . Last year was my first time getting past the first round of the playoffs. Everything was just new to everybody, and that thing is gonna help us. Last year was the base for our team and the sky’s the limit for us.”
The end of Chicago’s season was certainly a disappointment. Nobody saw the top-seeded Bulls falling in a mere five games to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Certainly not by giving up an 18-3 run to fall by three points on their home floor.
It left a lot to be desired from the Bulls and their fans, even though the Heat were a worthy opponent.
Chicago will not sit still whenever free agency opens, likely looking for some more shooters and a shooting guard to fill Keith Bogans’ role. There have even been suggestions of finding a way to move Boozer, even though he just finished the first year of a five-year deal.
Rose has spent his summer like most NBA players during the lockout. He has been doing promotional tours, including stops in Spain and the Philippines. He joined Kobe Bryant and several other NBA stars for an All-Star Game in the Philippines. Other than that he has been working a lot on his individual game, including, surprisingly, lifting weights for the first time since college.
Rose said he has added weight training five days a week to his daily regimen of on-court work and conditioning throughout the day. Hanging around some of the best players and getting a taste of a deep playoff run for the first time certainly has piqued Rose’s interest in proactively improving his game by leaps and bounds.
He also said Thibodeau had a big influence on him after watching him work and coach the team last season. Rose called him the best coach he has ever had and said they would often call each other up and talk basketball during the season. Obviously now they cannot do that because of the lockout.
The Bulls are certainly right on the doorstep to winning a title. They had a fantastic season last year and should expect growth as the team and Rose matures. Chicago certainly needs tweaks to shore up some offensive weaknesses that held them back against Miami. But seasoning and experience could help with that too.
Rose and his promise for improvement are certainly one of the reasons the NBA had such a successful year last year. And if Rose is going to be the centerpiece of a new Bulls dynasty, Chicago fans better hope the NBA gets back soon.
Photos via DayLife.com.