(CBS) In their first game back at the United Center since parting ways with the Bulls last offseason, Knicks big man Joakim Noah and point guard Derrick Rose were showered with different reactions from the crowd Friday evening.
Noah got a loud ovation in pregame introductions, while Rose received a mixed reaction, with some boos raining down and plenty of cheers too. Early on, Rose was also booed by some Bulls fans — the noise clear but not at all thunderous — when he had the ball in his hands.
You can hear the crowd’s reaction in the video below shot by The Athletic’s Sean Highkin.
The Bulls honored Noah and Rose with a well-done video tribute at the first timeout of the first quarter. The end of it included public address announcer Tommy Edwards saying “the man in the middle” to honor Noah and “from Chicago” to honor Rose.
Noah (ninth overall in 2007) and Rose (first overall in 2008) were drafted a year apart by the Bulls had spent their entire careers in Chicago until this season. Rose was traded to the Knicks in June, while Noah signed a four-year deal with New York, in part because Rose was there.
While Noah was always a beloved figure in Chicago because of infectious, wear-his-heart-on-his-sleeve attitude, Rose’s relationship with fans was more complicated — because of serious injuries and, more recently, being the defendant in a civil case accusing him of sexual assault. Rose was cleared of wrongdoing in the sexual assault case.