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updated: 2/21/2013 10:44 PM

Rose sides with Bulls over brother on roster

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  • LeBron James and the Heat had little trouble getting past the Bulls, who had an off-court situation to deal with before the game.

      LeBron James and the Heat had little trouble getting past the Bulls, who had an off-court situation to deal with before the game.
    Associated Press

 
 

The Bulls keep saying all parties are on the same page regarding Derrick Rose's conservative comeback from ACL surgery.

That may be true, but apparently Rose's older brother Reggie is reading from a different chapter.

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Reggie Rose, who acts as both an adviser and manager to his younger brother, complained Thursday about the Bulls' inactivity as the trade deadline passed.

A few hours later, the Bulls endured a very sloppy 86-67 loss to Miami at the United Center. They piled up a season-high 27 turnovers and were never competitive in the fourth quarter.

"It's frustrating to see my brother play his heart and soul out for the team and them not put anything around him," Reggie Rose said in an interview with espn.com. "What have you pieced together? Have you made any moves? Have you made any trades to get better?

"You know all roads to the championship lead through Miami. What pieces have you put together for the physical playoffs?"

There are a couple of easy rebuttals to those comments. First of all, the Bulls had two players in Sunday's All-Star Game, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. When Rose comes back, they'd technically have three, the same as Miami.

Of course, if Rose had been healthy all season, it's unlikely all three Bulls would have been all-stars. Stepping up in Rose's absence probably aided the candidacy of Noah and Deng.

Then, wasn't Derrick Rose the guy who didn't want to add LeBron James in 2010? James reached out to Rose after Cleveland was eliminated from the playoffs and didn't get much of a response, as the often-told story goes. That version was confirmed by league sources.

Who knows if James would have passed on Miami's Power Trio scenario? But he definitely had the Bulls on his mind early that summer.

The third point is, what were the Bulls supposed to do before the deadline, with their bloated payroll bumping up against a hard salary cap? OK, not get in that situation in the first place is a valid argument, but the Bulls posted the NBA's best record twice with the nucleus of that high-priced lineup.

Rose answered his brother's words with a short statement released through the team.

"I have always felt that the Bulls organization's goals have been the same as mine and that is to bring another championship to this city," the statement read.

General manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson had essentially the same reaction to Reggie Rose's comments, saying they have never heard such sentiments from Derrick himself.

So it's difficult to read the depth of this apparent family rift. Ever since the Bulls sent away four members of last year's "Bench Mob" in cost-cutting moves, it has been obvious the goal has been a longer-term retooling over the next couple of years.

The Bulls certainly have a goal of giving Rose an all-star caliber scoring sidekick, but it's not going to happen when the trade bait is an aging Rip Hamilton and extremely expensive Carlos Boozer.

Would Reggie have been relieved if the Bulls landed J.J. Redick from Orlando? Toronto's Andrea Bargnani?

They're hoping that a couple of future assets -- Charlotte's protected first-round pick and the rights to rising Euro star Nikola Mirotic -- along with Luol Deng's expiring contract in 2014 will provide the juice to build a championship contender.

Even before Thursday's loss, it was tough to see Derrick Rose coming back from surgery and leading the Bulls past Miami in a playoff series this season.

But you'd like to think Rose the competitor is eager to give it a shot?

mmcgraw@dailyherald.com

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