Michael Carter-Williams Won't Wear No. 1 to Avoid Derrick Rose Controversy

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2016

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 25:  Michael Carter-Williams #5 of the Milwaukee Bucks carries the ball against the Boston Celtics  during the second quarter at TD Garden on February 25, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After initially asking to wear the No. 1 Chicago Bulls jersey formerly donned by Derrick Rose, Michael Carter-Williams changed his mind Monday in an effort to avoid any potential controversy. 

The newly acquired guard told Chuck Garfien of Comcast SportsNet Chicago he would wear No. 7 instead.

The Bulls landed Carter-Williams in a trade that sent Tony Snell to the Milwaukee Bucks, per the Associated Press (via NBA.com).

While the Bulls were willing to give Carter-Williams No. 1 despite Rose's history with the number—including winning an NBA MVP award—the 25-year-old, fourth-year player reconsidered and praised the current New York Knicks point guard, per Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune: "I know this organization respects Derrick Rose. It has nothing to do with stepping on anyone's toes or anything like that. [Rose] was a great player. He did a lot for this city."

Carter-Williams wore No. 1 during his collegiate playing days at Syracuse, as well as during his two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Massachusetts native won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2014, but he has experienced a sharp decline in production since then.

Carter-Williams averaged career lows across the board last season with 11.5 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game.

There won't be as much pressure for him to perform at an elite level in Chicago, however, since he will play a backup role behind Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade.

It would have been nearly impossible for Carter-Williams to live up to the equity Rose built up for the No. 1 jersey during his stint in the Windy City, but staying away from the number allows him to forge his own path as much needed backcourt depth.

             

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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