By Dan Bernstein– senior columnist

(CBS) Derrick Rose is gone from Chicago, and his number hasn’t been retired. Unless it’s hanging in the rafters, it’s available for the next guy.

So when new Bulls guard Michael Carter-Williams, acquired Monday in a trade with the Bucks, was asked what he preferred to wear, he chose the same No. 1 he sported both at Syracuse and as the Rookie of the Year in Philadelphia. He wasn’t trying to make any kind of statement about Rose, the former Bull who’s now a Knick and busy with his lurid gang-rape trial in a Los Angeles civil court.

The team granted the request. No problem.

But Carter-Williams must have faced enough backlash to change his mind and opt for No. 7 instead, likely hearing from whatever lamentable Rose fanboys are still extant that this was some kind of disrespect to their idol.

There’s no reason to care one iota what they think, especially if they’re still holding a torch for a former Bull who was hurt and bad and weird. The new kid should wear what he wants.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Boers and Bernstein Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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