Replacing head coach Tom Thibodeau was supposed to bring internal harmony back to the Chicago Bulls. Unfortunately, it appears discord with their hometown star might derail that harmonious train before it leaves the station.
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Windhorst: Bulls, D-Rose Divorce Is Coming
Thursday, Nov. 5
ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst appeared on the Russillo & Kanell show Wednesday to discuss the fractured relationship between the Bulls and Derrick Rose (via ESPN):
Rose has had a bizarre start to the 2015-16 season, to say the least. He drew some criticism in Chicago for strange public comments about his contractual situation, indicating he was already looking ahead to his 2017 free agency, per Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:
But when you talk about that much money the only thing you can do is prepare for it. I’m trying to prepare, not only myself, but my family. And I’m doing this all for my son. Like I said, I’m thinking about his future. Even though we’re alright, we’re comfortable, when you talk about that x-amount of dollars, I think it raises everyone’s eyebrows, so there’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared.
From your average superstar, those words might simply ring of financial prudence. The NBA is about to embark on a financial bonanza of never-before-seen proportions, and contracts for star players are going to skyrocket. Rose, however, is anything but an average superstar. He's been limited to 100 games over his four previous seasons and has seen his play take a marked slip from his 2011 MVP heights.
If that weren't enough, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported in October that Jimmy Butler "doesn’t have a lot of respect for [Rose's] work ethic." Both players have denied the report, but it continues to portray the former franchise face in a less than ideal light.
Windhorst said Wednesday that members of Bulls brass have not been happy with Rose's overall attitude, and the Butler-Rose dynamic has been worth monitoring since the former took over last season as the team's true best player.
Couple that with Rose's ongoing sexual assault lawsuit, in which an ex-girlfriend claims the Bulls point guard drugged and raped her with accomplices, and the tumultuous picture paints itself. Rose has denied any wrongdoing in the sexual assault case, but at the very least, it's a distraction for a player who has continually been talked about more for his injuries and off-the-court behavior than his play for nearly a half-decade.
Rose enters Thursday night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder averaging a career-low 10.2 points and 5.4 assists per game. He's shooting just 33.9 percent from the floor and hasn't made a single three-point shot through five games.
Suffice it to say, things could be going better.
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