Chicago Bulls fans thought they’d hear this back in March, but even though it’s being uttered in mid-June it’s still nice to hear. According to head coach Tom Thibodeau, the old Derrick Rose is finally back and the 2011 MVP is finally feeling like himself once again. ESPN Chicago’s Jon Greenberg passed along word from Thibodeau on Thursday that Rose is back in action and looks he did before tearing his ACL over a year ago.
“Watching the way he’s moving now, there’s a confidence,” Thibodeau said, via Greenberg and ESPN Chicago. “[Reporters] may not have been able to see the total work he was putting in. But he was putting in an enormous amount of work each and every day. He just never got to the explosiveness he was comfortable with. I think he’s there now. He feels great, and that’s the most important thing.”
Thibodeau also made it his business to stick up for Rose as the Bulls superstar went from being lauded to blasted for sitting out the entire 2013 season and for stringing fans along with Big Foot like sightings of him practicing. Thibs points out that despite what you may think, Rose couldn’t perform the moves and plays he usually does and until he was capable of doing that he wasn’t about to hit the hardwood again.
“He was practicing and he was good sometimes, but he also wasn’t able to make the kinds of plays he likes to make,” Thibodeau said. “No one is more explosive and can change direction like him. He had to be capable of doing that.”
Of course, given all the times it was cried wolf during the season, Bulls fans won’t believe Rose is back until he actually is. Only then will all the animosity disintegrate and fans will get back to loving him like they used to before the injury. And for those that know the Bulls and know Thibodeau, he’s not a man who comes out and says things to tickle your belly — Thibs tickles nothing.
So hearing it from Thibodeau that Rose is back to feeling like himself is more than encouraging and should gives Bulls fans something to get them through this summer.