January 29, 2012; Miami, FL, USA;Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) defends as Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) drives the ball in the second half of the game that the Heat won 97 to 93 at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James to 'personally welcome' Rose back to league

According to ESPN’s Michael Wallace, Miami Heat superstar LeBron James will welcome Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, who missed last season while recovering from knee surgery back in 2012.

Asked about the prospects of facing Rose, James said after Sunday’s practice that it won’t be difficult to set aside his competitive nature to take a moment and appreciate how the Bulls star guard has handled his recovery from 2012 knee surgery that forced him to miss all of last season.

James said he especially admires Rose for not giving in to any outside pressure to return during last season’s playoff run. After upsetting the Heat in Miami with a Game 1 victory, the short-handed Bulls lost four straight to James and the Heat and were eliminated in the second round.

James is glad to see Rose back on he court, and thinks the NBA and its fans will appreciate that too.

“I’m happy and thrilled that he’s back,” James said as the Heat prepared to open defense of their second straight NBA championship. “I’m happy with what he he did last year, to be able to stand strong throughout everything, throughout all of the adversity of everybody criticizing him about what he should do. He did what was best for him.”

With Rose’s return, Miami has found themselves yet another team to fight off for the chance at a three-peat. Who do you think will be Miami’s toughest challenge in the East as they look to get a third title in three years?

Tags: Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose Lebron James Miami Heat NBA

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