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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau isn't the only new vocal sheriff in town this season. Derrick Rose is hoping to help him out as well. The usually reserved point guard wants to become a louder leader and he's already started changing the way he goes about his business in practice.
He's letting his teammates hear his voice a lot more.
|Tom Thibodeau is counting on Derrick Rose to be a more vocal leader on the court this season.|
"I know I have to talk more," he said after the team's workout at the Berto Center on Tuesday. "In practice, I was talking a lot, just telling guys, telling them what to do. They were telling me, just giving me information [about] what to do on the court, on defense, and it was a good atmosphere today."
Rose has said repeatedly throughout the summer that he wants to be the face of the franchise, so it should come as no surprise that he is beginning to assert himself in workouts as well.
"I'm the point guard," he said. "I have to be more vocal and talk, be more talkative at practice and in the game, so that people can get used to me talking no matter what it is. Today I was talking just to be saying stuff, saying [stuff] on defense, yelling. Coaches were looking at me crazy, but I'm just trying to get used to it."
It was a personality shift that Thibodeau and his staff began to see during Rose's time with Team USA this summer and it is a trait he clearly has carried over to training camp.
"I think two years through the league now, and his international experience this summer, I think he has a pretty good idea of all the things he's trying to accomplish," Thibodeau said. "And the thing that I'm impressed with is his leadership. I thought today he was very vocal. He and Carlos [Boozer] were great leaders along with Joakim [Noah] and Luol [Deng]. And your best players have to help drive the team and they did that."
While some people have speculated that Rose's time with Team USA may end up hurting the Bulls in the long run because of all the extra minutes he piled up during the World Championships, Thibodeau doesn't seem to think that at all. He believes Rose's participation helped in numerous different areas besides the new leadership role.
"I thought he was terrific this summer," Thibodeau said. "I saw a number of his practices. His ball pressure was great. As the summer went on I thought he did a great job at challenging shots. There were a lot of nights in which he rebounded the ball extremely well. To me, when he rebounds the ball and busts out with it, it's almost impossible to stop him.
"He gets a head of steam, and when he has a head of steam and he's coming at your defense, there's not much you can do. So I think the more that he does things like that, I think it's great leadership for our team too, and it makes us better."
Rose feels the same. He's as confident as he's ever been on the court, and that's a major reason he's more comfortable asserting himself now.
"I think I've improved a lot," he said. "The more years you play in the NBA, the more you're going to get comfortable, so I'm feeling real comfortable with the NBA, knowing the defensive sets, knowing the offensive sets. Just looking up, I feel like I'm going to be a veteran soon. This is my third year, it still feels like my first year."
That's a scary thought for the rest of the NBA, although it's not as scary as this one: Rose is still just 21. That's the biggest reason why he and Thibodeau aren't concerned about him hitting a wall later in the year and why both are convinced that he is ready to take the next step as a leader for the Bulls.
"I'm 21 years old," he said with a laugh. "Probably when I'm 25 or something like that, that's when I'll chill."
When several reporters chided him about still being so young, he responded quickly:
"Oh, my bad," he said, still smiling. "I'm making you all feel old. My bad. When I'm 35 or 40 or something like that [I'll slow down]. But right now, man, I'm good. Trust me."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.