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updated: 12/22/2011 8:17 PM

Bulls' Derrick Rose overwhelmed by fan support at mall

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  • Reigning MVP Derrick Rose, smiles during a news conference flanked by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, left, and general manager Gar Forman on Wednesday announcing Rose's five-year contract extension.

      Reigning MVP Derrick Rose, smiles during a news conference flanked by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, left, and general manager Gar Forman on Wednesday announcing Rose's five-year contract extension.
    Associated Press

  • The Bulls' Derrick Rose, second from left, poses for a photo with his brothers Allan, left, Dwayne, second left, Reggie, right, and his mother Brenda after a news conference Wednesday after Rose agreed to a five-year contract extension worth approximately $94 million.

      The Bulls' Derrick Rose, second from left, poses for a photo with his brothers Allan, left, Dwayne, second left, Reggie, right, and his mother Brenda after a news conference Wednesday after Rose agreed to a five-year contract extension worth approximately $94 million.
    Associated Press

 
 

A day later, Derrick Rose was still gushing about the huge crowd that greeted the players during an appearance Wednesday at Northbrook Court.

Rose had several hundred people waiting in line to get his autograph, while people stood two and three deep on the upper level trying to get a glimpse of the NBA's most valuable player.

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"It was great. The fans came out. It was huge, breathtaking when you walked in there," Rose said. "It really touched guys. That was my first time being around something like that, unless it was like overseas or something.

"It was unbelievable just the love we got from the fans. We appreciate them all and don't take any of this for granted. We're just trying to play for them and give them something to brag about."

Kobe strong:

Former Utah forward Kyle Korver got plenty of chances to play against Kobe Bryant when the two were Western Conference rivals.

One superlative Korver used to describe Bryant on Thursday seemed a little surprising.

"I think the first time you guard him, you realize how strong he is," Korver said. "Everyone talks about his all-around game. But I think pound for pound, he's maybe the strongest man in the NBA. That dude can hold his own in the post.

"I played with Matt Harpring in Utah, You don't get much stronger than Matt Harpring, and I remember Matt coming to the bench one time just like, 'Man, Kobe's strong.' If he says something like that, you know he's pretty strong."

Warriors star hurting:

Many are wondering if Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will play against the Bulls in Sunday's season opener. But Golden State, the Bulls' second opponent, also has an injured star.

Shooting guard Stephen Curry suffered a sprained right ankle in a preseason game against Sacramento and his status is listed as day to day. Curry had surgery on the same ankle in May to repair two torn ligaments.

"Hoping for the Christmas Miracle," he said.

Rose sees open looks:

Derrick Rose on the secret to Bulls success this season:

"The biggest thing on this team I think we have to worry about is knocking down open shots. With the guys we added and guys that have been working on their shots, people have to double-team somewhere and we just have to knock down those open shots."

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