When Derrick Rose made the comments about how it wasn’t his job to recruit players to the Chicago Bulls, the media ran with the story. In some ways he was right and in some ways he was wrong. But what his statement did was put a huge spotlight on himself as the Bulls were currently in the process of recruiting then-free agent small forward Carmelo Anthony.
The Bulls’ pursuit of free agent Carmelo Anthony was the latest example.
Looking back, it’s clear Rose wasn’t all that interested in teaming with Anthony, who chose to return to the New York Knicks. Rose was much more aggressive in the Bulls’ pursuit of free agent Pau Gasol, not only asking for his phone number, but giving a hard sell to the big man on joining the Bulls.
Sun-Times writer Joe Cowley–who is currently under fire after Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf released a statement on the article at hand–would continue on the Rose-Melo recruiting story, pointing out how Rose didn’t put his best foot forward while the team recruited the superstar.
The team wanted his workout to be a “big production’’ for Anthony, even having the court put down so he could see Rose’s knees were alive and well.
Rose would put on the show, but he wasn’t exactly a willing participant.
“[Rose] wanted nothing to do with it,’’ a source said last week. “They had to beg him just to talk to Anthony after [the workout].’’
If true (this matters because this isn’t a topic you harmlessly gloss over without it all being proven), it’s hard to draw the conclusion that Rose didn’t want to play with Melo. Especially when Rose teeter-tottered over Melo’s recruitment while going all in on Pau Gasol’s recruitment.
And while Rose’s recruitment tactics may be on the line here, it must be said that Carmelo Anthony isn’t a Bull because Melo didn’t want to be one. Not because of Rose’s lack of recruiting.
It’s an odd story, but what’s done is done. Melo returned to the Knicks. Pau is now a member of the Bulls. But this story isn’t going away. It doesn’t have that feel and until Rose puts up on the court, the media will always come back to his recruit–if true.