Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf denies there’s any tension between the team and Derrick Rose


Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Tension, what tension?

While Derrick Rose threw down impressive dunks for Team USA, Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was busy shot blocking.

Reinsdorf emphatically dismissed a Chicago Sun-Times story that detailed a growing gulf between Rose and the organization.

Columnist Joe Cowley wrote that the tension was because Rose’s camp was “taking shots at the franchise,” while also citing Chicago’s failed attempt to land Carmelo Anthony. According to Cowley, 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.”

Cowley also pointed to Rose’s limited role during Anthony’s Chicago visit, quoting a typically-loquacious unnamed source, who said “[Rose] wanted nothing to do with it. They had to beg him just to talk to Anthony after [the workout].’’

Reisndorf fired back in his statement, dismissing the story:

“I am confounded by the irresponsible report in the Chicago Sun-Times suggesting there is anything approaching discord or confusion between the Bulls executive office, coaching staff, and Derrick Rose or any other Bulls player. To the contrary, I can remember no time when the organization has been any more focused, optimistic, and cohesive. … I am deeply disappointed that unnamed sources and totally inaccurate statements and assumptions can be used to foment nonexistent friction. The report is totally without basis or fact. It is pure malicious fiction.”

In a radio interview with Bruce Levine and Barry Rozner on WSCR-AM (670), Reinsdorf reiterated his disdain, telling the show, “The article infuriated me.”

Before the 2013 trade deadline, Rose’s brother, Reggie, criticized Bulls management for failing to build a stronger team, telling ESPNChicago.com, “”It’s frustrating to see my brother play his heart and soul out for the team and them not put anything around him.”

At the time, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau did not see it as a distraction, or at least tried to quiet the noise, responding, “Obviously, Reggie and Derrick are very close. We share the same concerns about Derrick’s health, so that’s not anything new. So it’s not a big deal. And Reggie’s entitled to his own opinion.”

Rose is under contract for three more seasons until 2017.

Thomas Johnson is a reporter.
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