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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is hoping President Obama will attend a game if the Bulls make the NBA Finals this season.
"Hope so," Rose said Thursday. "He came to a game two years ago when we played Washington. Hopefully if we get to the Finals, he'll appear at a game."
Obama, a diehard Bulls fan and former Illinois state senator from Chicago, made headlines on Wednesday afternoon when he thanked the Boston Celtics for giving Chicago former Boston assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who's in his first season as Bulls head coach.
"He actually thanked us for giving him our guy," Celtics guard Ray Allen said. "He was like, 'How'd you guys let that guy go?' and it was like, 'That's just kind of how it works.'"
Rose hadn't heard the comments, but he wasn't surprised.
"Obama is my guy, man," he said. "That's my guy. He's been supporting us when we were a bad team, and now he's still supporting us and he's been a Bulls fan forever. It's kind of good when you've got the President on your side."
Thibodeau said he hadn't heard all of the President's comments yet, but he had heard enough.
"I heard bits and pieces of it, yeah," Thibodeau said with a smile. "I can say that we certainly appreciate his support. And I certainly appreciate his support. And we know he's a big fan of the Bulls and we're excited about that."
Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf recently recounted the story of how Obama congratulated him on hiring Thibodeau.
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg contributed to this report.