Derrick Rose frustrated by lockout

Updated: October 16, 2011, 12:10 PM ET
By Jon Greenberg | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose doesn't get upset often, but the Chicago Bulls star had a distinct edge to his voice Saturday discussing the contentious NBA lockout.

"It's sad. It's very sad," Rose said of the lockout, which has wiped out training camp, exhibition games and the early part of the regular 2011-12 season. "Everybody knows it's not our fault. It's definitely not our fault. If it were up to us, we'd be out there playing. But I think that it's wrong. I know (the owners) can easily take care of it and not take advantage of people. But I guess that's how people are.

"(The owners are) not thinking about anything we're saying. They're not taking it into consideration, nothing that we're trying to give them. We'll just have to see how it goes."

Rose It's sad. It's very sad. Everybody knows it's not our fault. It's definitely not our fault. If it were up to us, we'd be out there playing.

-- NBA MVP Derrick Rose on the lockout

Rose said a partial regular season seemed a likely scenario.

"It is," he said. "(But) I can't say nothing about it."

Rose lives in Los Angeles during the offseason, where he works out with his trainer, but was back in town for an all-day promotional event for his new signature adidas shoe, the adizero Rose 2. He would have rather been at the Berto Center, preparing for the regular season.

"The biggest thing is you just want to get back out there and play," he said. "It's going to hurt us, but I think it's going to hurt basketball, period. Where we had a great year last year, and for us not to have a season this year, or taking this long to come up with a deal, I think that's wrong."

Rose said he hasn't been at any of the bargaining sessions because of his schedule, but that he's planning to talk with NBPA president Derek Fisher, with whom he shared a trip to the Philippines for a basketball exhibition this summer, and Paul Pierce soon.

Rose, the reigning Most Valuable Player, has a lot to lose, on and off the court, from the lockout. His ascent from All-Star to MVP was quicker than anyone anticipated, and now he's become an international marketing star. He's also a gym rat. The 6-foot-3 point guard has spent the summer developing a better post-up game.

Aside from a new, widely repeated commercial of him dribbling through a bullfighting arena in Spain, Rose has been MIA since losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. He's missing the structure of the NBA right now, from coach Tom Thibodeau's film sessions to the actual competition.

"He dreams, sleeps and he'll die for basketball," said his older brother Reggie Rose. "A lot of these guys are just worried about the financial part of it. He wants to get on the court and play. I like (to) tell him, 'Don't worry about the money. Money's going to come if you win.' "

Reggie tried to steer his younger brother from playing pickup basketball as a kid, and the message has stuck. That's why you haven't heard about him playing in any of the hyped-up summer league games in New York or Los Angeles.

"You know I don't like All-Star Games," Rose said. "I don't like pickup games. I think that's when people look at your game and I just don't like it, to tell you the truth."

He did go play those exhibition games in the Philippines this summer, but the money was too much to pass up.

"If you give him $300,000 a game, that's a great pickup game," Reggie Rose said with a laugh.

Rose is traveling to Hawaii and Guam for a USO "Hoops for Troops" event on Oct. 23, along with D.J. Augustin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tyreke Evans and Al Horford. Rose hasn't organized any defacto practice sessions with the Bulls yet, but he said he worked out with Joakim Noah in Los Angeles last week.

The 23-year-old still seems charmingly in awe of his own celebrity, even in Chicago. Fans started lining up at 5:30 a.m. in front of a Foot Locker downtown. There were hundreds of fans outside the store, and the first 150 got to take a picture with Rose. He had already met with a couple hundred fans at an adidas store and still has another event on the day's schedule.

"I'm blessed, very blessed, for at least one of y'all to be here," he said to a group of reporters. "For all y'all to come and all these people to come, following all the things I've put up on Facebook. ... Words can't explain how I feel right now, how emotional it is."

Jon Greenberg is a reporter for ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Jon Greenberg

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com. He has lived and worked in Chicago since 2003, and is a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Chicago.

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