- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade said Thursday that he understands Derrick Rose's reluctance to recruit other players to the Chicago Bulls, but Wade also knows that circumstances may force Rose to change his mind.
"Derrick's still young (23)," Wade told ESPNChicago.com Thursday afternoon during a charity event for his Wade's World Foundation. "When I came into the league (in 2003), when all of us came into the league, you never can tell me that this day would come where I play with guys like LeBron (James) and Chris (Bosh) because I wanted to be the young gun. I wanted to be the one who leads my team to a championship, I had that mentality.
"And then you get to a point where you understand, even with me winning a championship in my third year, it took Shaquille O'Neal, it took Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, James Posey, all these guys to make it possible. This league is very good and you're not going to win it alone. So when you've had a very good team like Derrick has had, you don't need to recruit, but when you've hit rough stages and injuries hit and all these things, and you have a year like we had where we won 15 games (in 2007-08), and now we've got to rebuild back, it becomes a little different. Hopefully, he doesn't have to experience that, but things change."
Rose understands the injury factor first-hand. He missed 27 regular-season games with a variety of injuries, and then tore his left ACL in Game 1 of the playoffs, resulting in the Bulls being upset by the Philadelphia 76ers and knocked out of the playoffs in six games.
Wade won his second title this past season with the help of
James and Bosh, who snubbed the Bulls' recruiting advances in 2010. Rose explained to ESPNChicago.com last year why he didn't get involved in the recruiting.
"That's just not me," he said. "My whole life, I've never been the type of player where I've recruited people like that."
To that point, Wade -- who also was a free agent in 2010 and spurned the Bulls before recruiting James and Bosh -- said he didn't have much contact at all with Rose during the free agency period.
"Obviously we understand that Derrick is quiet and to himself," Wade said. "I talk to Derrick when I see him. He's a Chicago guy so I always have that connection, but he's very reserved as well.
"The process through free agency, I wasn't talking to anyone from certain teams, like players, it was more so the front office. It was more so a decision I had to make. I understood that if Derrick would have had a problem with me coming to Chicago, I would have never been a priority, or never even been interviewed to come there so I understood just from that (process) that he would have been fine with me and him sharing the same floor."
Like the rest of the basketball world, Wade is just hoping to see Rose back on the floor soon. While he doesn't believe the Bulls are a major rival for the Heat at the moment, he knows that a healthy Rose makes the Bulls a very dangerous team.
"The Chicago Bulls is a very good team," Wade said. "With Derrick Rose healthy (they're) one of the best teams in the league year after year. So with him healthy, yeah, you know they're going to be right in the mix. We look forward to that though. We take the challenge and hopefully we can meet up again. I thought last year when we met up in the playoffs, even though we won in five games, it was a lot closer than that and it was a very good series for basketball fans."
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