MIAMI -- Derrick Rose has millions of fans around the world, but the leader of the free world made sure to wish the former MVP well before the 25-year-old made his return to the basketball court Tuesday night against the Miami Heat.
President Barack Obama took to Twitter shortly before the Bulls' season tipped off.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 29, 2013
Rose made his return after missing the past year and a half while he recovered from reconstructive left knee surgery. The sad part for Rose is that Obama's tweet might have been the highlight of his night. After dominating throughout the preseason, Rose looked rusty against the Heat, scoring just 12 points (4-for-15 from the field) and turning the ball over five times in 34 minutes.
"If anything, I'm disappointed in the loss," he said. "My performance, I could easily change that by making shots and in the future turn down the turnovers."
Rose did acknowledge that he didn't play with any pressure and said he is confident he will be back on track in no time.
"Even with the performance that I had, it's no pressure," Rose said. "Because I know I'm going to have a breakthrough game so my job is to continue to work hard and I know it's going to come to me."
His teammates and coaches are convinced of that as well.
"I thought it was OK initially," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of Rose's performance. "I liked his playmaking in the first quarter. And then I thought that in trying to get us going we got in trouble but there's still going to be some rust. I thought he played hard. I thought he had some good looks that normally he makes that I'm sure will fall for him. I thought it was a very physical game so that's something that he has to get used to and he will."
Within the Bulls' locker room, there was little doubt that Rose just had a bad night.
"He's human, man," Bulls forward Luol Deng said. "I think it's one game. He's going to come out next game and going to be great. We got to do a better job; they were [double-teaming] him -- but Derrick is a lot better than he was and I've seen him. I believe he's going to have a great year and this is just one game."
The good news for the president and Bulls fans everywhere is that Rose isn't worried about his knee anymore. He played with the same speed and aggression that have become his trademark over the years.
"My knee is good, man," Rose said. "You don't got to worry about that at all."