Smith: Rose would play if he could

May, 6, 2013
5/06/13
3:10
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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Derrick Rose's high school coach, Simeon Career Academy's Robert smith, said Monday he's positive Rose would play this season if he was able to for the Chicago Bulls.

"Derrick's a warrior," said Smith, who coached Rose for three years. "One of the things I know is if Derrick could play, he would be out there. There's no ifs, ands or buts.

"Everyone wants him to play. I want him to play. But he's not going to play if he doesn't think he's going to impact the game and will hurt the team. I know his heart, his determination and him as a person, and I'm going to support him."

Smith said he once had to hold Rose back from playing after he sprained his ankle at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.

"He wanted to play," Smith said. "They wrapped up his ankle and got the swelling down, but I wouldn't let him play. I knew there was something bigger for us going forward the rest of the season. I know this is different, but you have to look at his future."

Smith said it has bothered him people have begun to criticize Rose for not playing, but he believes Rose was honest when he said he was unaware of it.

"I don't think he gets caught up with newspapers and everything," Smith said. "I know I hear it a lot. It bothers me that people are criticizing him. I support him 100 percent."
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5