Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Bulls [Print without images]

Monday, October 24, 2011
Rose unlikely to play in Croatia

By Nick Friedell

Was Derrick Rose about to sign off to play in Croatia?

According to a report from Mondo.rs, a proposed deal to have Rose play in the Croatian league broke down because the reigning NBA MVP would have to miss games because of contractual obligations to Adidas.

Calls to Rose's agent, Arn Tellem, as well as agent/Rose confidant B.J. Armstrong and Rose’s brother, Reggie Rose, were not immediately returned.

I never got the sense in talking to Derrick Rose or the anyone within his trusted circle that he was intent on playing overseas. He knew there was money to be made playing ball in a foreign country during the lockout, but he seemed to be enjoying his summer in and around Los Angeles while mixing in trips to Chicago and promotional excursions around the world for Adidas. That's why I'm simply not putting much stock into this report. Rose knew the risks involved with going overseas, especially given that if and when the lockout does finally end he will be getting a max extension from the Bulls.

Rose wants to grow his brand internationally, but he trusts his marketing people and the people at Adidas to get him where he needs to be. For Rose, the risks of playing in Croatia, even for a month, far outweigh any rewards that may come his way because of the experience. Sooner or later, we'll find out if the 23-year-old ever truly considered playing in Croatia, but for the time being I think this is just another international team looking to make some headlines while the NBA and the NBPA tries to figure out what the next step is in the ongoing labor battle.