(CBS) In a revealing interview with Chicago Sun-Times beat writer Joe Cowley, Bulls star guard Derrick Rose acknowledged the tension between his camp and the organization, then pledged, “This is a new beginning.”
Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf later disagreed with the suggestion there is discord on any level.
The most recent dispute between the team and Rose stemmed from his minor role in the recruitment of star free agent Carmelo Anthony, who visited the Bulls on July 1. As they made their pitch, Rose’s role was limited to what was about a 20-minute conversation with Anthony. The Bulls wanted Rose to work out in front of Anthony and accompany the group to dinner that evening, but he had no interest in either, the Sun-Times reported, which made the team “irate.”
That whole ordeal came after what the Sun-Times explained was mounting tension previously “because Rose allowed his own camp to take shots at the franchise.”
While he contends he wasn’t in the middle of it, Rose now admits there has been tension between the organization and his camp — which includes, in part, brother/manager Reggie and agent B.J. Armstrong, a former Bulls player who now reportedly has a rocky relationship with some the organization. In February 2013, Reggie criticized the Bulls for not putting a better team around Rose, who at the time was recovering from a devastating knee injury.
“I know it’s been there,’’ Rose told the Sun-Times in reference to the tension. “I heard there were some upset people.
“I’m happy I didn’t personally see it. I don’t want to see that. I kind of wonder where it was coming from because it seemed like whenever I was around, everything was all right. It bothered me because when I wasn’t around, I would hear from certain people that everything wasn’t all right.’’
Currently participating in Team USA’s mini-camp in Las Vegas from which a 12-player World Cup squad will be selected, the 25-year-old Rose now wants to take more control of the situation and be a leader, he told the Sun-Times.
“It seems like everybody has one goal, from the front office all the way down now,’’ Rose said. “It seems like everyone is finally communicating with each other. That’s all we need. You think about all the championship teams, they say that communication and one goal is usually the recipe. You take away all the other (stuff) and just make it simple.
“This is a new beginning for everybody.”
Later Thursday, the Bulls put out a statement from Reinsdorf refuting the report.
“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,” Reinsdorf said.
“I’ve got to assume suggestions otherwise are intended to undermine the goals and objectives, spirit, and reputation of the Chicago Bulls. 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,” he added.