Bulls guard Derrick Rose visited Madrid on a promotional tour with adidas and spoke with HoopsHype about his team, his coach, the lockout and his determination to win multiple rings.
Can you talk a little about your vacation, especially your trip to the Philippines, where you played with Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul among others?
Derrick Rose: I’m having fun. The experience about going to the Philippines was great. Just going over there, feeling appreciated. I think that was the biggest thing for everyone going over there. I didn’t know anyone knew me in the Philippines! That was an experience I will remember forever.
I guess you got the feeling that was a Dream Team for the future.
DR: Yeah, definitely. We all had a good time. Playing over there opened a lot of eyes. It was something that was made in a week. I got it like Tuesday, then Saturday I’m in the Philippines. It happened so quickly.
Now I’m sure you talked about the lockout. How was the feeling between you guys about the whole situation?
DR: It’s hard! I don’t have a job right now. And the way it’s looking you’re not going to have a job… I haven’t felt this way since high school. The way I think about it, it shouldn’t be billionaires and millionaires arguing about money. I’m just trying to get out there and play for the fans. I think it’s hurting the fans more than anyone else.
So what’s your feeling: no season, shortened season…?
DR: It’s looking tough, it’s looking pretty bad right now. But the only thing I can do now is work out and just pray that it’s gonna be a season.
If there’s finally a shortened season or no season at all, would you consider playing overseas?
DR: I’m staying. I don’t play pickup basketball. I’m working out in Los Angeles right now. I haven’t taken into consideration yet playing overseas. Right now, if I do think about it, the Euroleague is definitely an option I would consider. I would have to talk to my agents and make sure that everything is OK, but I’m hoping right now there’s a season.
After the Heat series, you said your conditioning wasn’t good enough. What are you doing this summer to improve it?
DR: Well, it’s the first time I ever lifted weight besides college. I think that’s gonna help me evolve my game. I know it’s going to be hard because I really don’t like lifting like that, but I’ll do anything to win, anything to get that advantage. Benching, squats, sit-ups, push-ups… Everything you can think of, I’m doing it right now on one-hour sessions from Monday to Friday. I’m on the court from like 8.30 to 9.30, then go home, sleep till like 1 and then I go to my conditioning.
Are you working on any other aspect of your game?
DR: Just trying to be consistent, be sharp and work on my post-up game.
Time has passed since you won the MVP trophy award. What are your feelings about it now?
DR: It was great but I’m not satisfied. I won’t be satisfied until I win a championship. I’m not satisfied at all. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I’m not going to win a championship. I’m going win multiple championships. It’s not a doubt in my mind.
Carlos Boozer was a great addition to the team last season, but he struggled a little bit during the playoffs. What do you expect from him and the rest of the guys next season?
DR: Everybody is working out hard right now. If everyone comes in and work on their game, I think that we have a good shot of winning without getting anybody to come to my team. I think everything was just so new… Last year was my first time getting past the first round of the playoffs. Everything was just new to everybody, and that thing is gonna help us. Last year was the base for our team and the sky’s the limit for us.
So you don’t feel you need any additions to the roster?
DR: We don’t need it right now. If we sign somebody that can definitely fit… But to me I think that we are OK.
What has head coach Tom Thibodeau brought to the table?
DR: He’s the greatest coach I’ve ever had. Just his professionalism, his work ethic as a coach… He works as hard as any coach I’ve ever been around. Film session, making sure that we work out everyday hard… The only coach I’ve talked to on a regular basis throughout my whole life. He could be looking at film and call me or I could call him no matter how late it is and we talked about basketball.
When was the first time you realize he was such a good coach, that he would help you to achieve your goals?
DR: Last summer, before the season started. I’m 22 years old, my friends are also young, so we’d be up all night. So we’d go to the gym at like 2.30 in the morning, and then we’d go into our practice facility and we’d see his light on in his office. He’d be working til like 3 am, just looking at film.