No question: Fans' focus on LeBron
Derrick Rose discusses his offseason, free agents and the Bulls' coaching search
"Is it true that LeBron was in Chicago for a week and was staying at your house?" Rose was asked within a few minutes of sitting down. Rose shook his head and smiled as he signed an autograph onto the fan's poster.
It would be just the beginning of such questions. One of out every couple fans had the same inquiry, or a variation of it, Friday night while Rose signed hundreds of autographs at a suburban auto dealership.
Each time, Rose laughed and played the question off. If Rose had talked to James or anyone else, he wasn't saying.
After signing autographs for more than two hours, Rose talked exclusively with ESPNChicago.com about free agents, his offseason, the coaching search and Dwyane Wade's recent comments about the Bulls' front office's loyalty.
Q: How's your offseason been?
A: It's been good. Everything is fine. I'm trying to work on my game. That's about it.
Q: What are you working on?
A: Jump shots. I'm getting a lot of jumpers up right now.
Q: You were working out in Chicago?
A: I'm training in Chicago now, but I'm going out to L.A. in a couple days to work out.
Q: Have you been able to relax at all after the season?
A: I took a vacation with my friends. I took a week off, but it's fine now. We went to the Atlantis.
Q: Have you been paying attention to all the free agency news?
A: No, if they ask me about it, that's when I'll have a say-so about it. If anything, I'm leaving it up to the front office and general manager to handle it.
Q: I heard one guy ask you if LeBron was staying at your house. Have you talked to LeBron?
A: No, no, that's not true. Don't believe none of that. Don't believe none of that, man.
Q: Have you been interested in what's going on with the coaching search?
A: No. I'm young. I barely know some of the coaches' names in the NBA. If anything, it'll have to be the front office and general manager to make the decision if I have a say-so. If anything, Joakim [Noah] will have a say-so before I do.
Q: Would you be interested in playing for John Calipari again?
A: No, he's in a good fit [at Kentucky]. I don't think he should leave. He could start his legacy there, so I don't see why he would leave.
Check out photos of Derrick Rose signing autographs for fans. Photos
A: He's a grown man. He can say whatever he wants to say. I'm just trying to play ball. That's what it's all about.
Q: You've had some time off since the season ended. What are your thoughts now when you look back on it?
A: We got to get further. That's the only thing about last year. Last year was all right. We lost too soon. Next year coming up, we got to get further. It's going to be fun.
Q: How do you get further?
A: By getting the free agents we're supposed to be getting.
Q: Have you been watching the Blackhawks?
A: I'm a big fan.
Q: Do you have a favorite player?
A: I'm not a fan like that where I know the game, but I'm a Chicago sports' fan, period. As long they're in Chicago and doing well, I'm going to be watching.
Q: Do you have a prediction for the Stanley Cup finals?
A: The Blackhawks, man. I think they can get them. They're a young team. They're playing with a lot of confidence right now. I'm looking for a sweep.
Scott Powers is a writer or ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.