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Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: September 27, 11:08 AM ET
Durant: Derrick Rose 'looks better'

ESPNChicago.com

Kevin Durant thinks that sitting out last season after knee surgery was best for Derrick Rose

Durant, who was an offseason workout partner with Rose, said the Chicago Bulls star "looks better" with the start of training camp days away.

Rose
Derrick Rose is expected to return for the Bulls' preseason opener on Oct. 5 after missing the entire 2013-13 season.

"He's been looking great," Durant told Comcast SportsNet Chicago on Tuesday. "It was really good for him that he took the whole year off.

"A lot of people criticized him for it and really were upset about him not playing, but it was the best thing for him. I can tell because he looks better."

Rose became a divisive figure in Chicago, his hometown, after choosing to sit out the 2012-13 season despite being cleared to play late in the season.

Even without the former league MVP, the Bulls won 45 games during the regular season and beat the Brooklyn Nets in seven games in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the eventual champion Miami Heat in five.

Rose said Sunday that his legs feel good after a busy summer of training and promotional appearances around the world, including a recent stop in China. He expects to make his return to the court at Indiana on Oct. 5 in the Bulls' preseason opener, his first NBA game action in almost 18 months.

Durant said is looking forward to seeing Rose back on the court.

"He's the MVP," the Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star said. "He's a high-level player, and if you lose that, of course you're not going to be as good as you were before. But I love Coach [Tom Thibodeau] and what he brings to the table. Their defense is one of the best I've ever seen, so that gets them by.

"But I think they need the extra push from the offense, and that's what D-Rose brings to the table. He's so explosive, so great. He's such a great person all around, and I really enjoy watching him play. He's one of the few players I would go pay to see play. He's going to make them even better this year."

The Bulls open training camp Saturday. They begin the regular season Oct. 29 at Miami.