LeBron James hasn't missed a game all season, so maybe he's not the best person to comment on Derrick Rose's long-awaited return to the Bulls.
But he had some interesting thoughts during Miami shootaround at the United Center on Wednesday.
"I love competing against the best and he's one of the best," James said. "The NBA as a whole, as a competitor, you miss him on the floor. Even off days, not being able to watch him out on the floor for the Bulls, it (stinks). But health is No. 1 in our league. We'll see him back soon."
Like James, Heat center Chris Bosh felt people should cut Rose some slack for making sure he's completely healthy.
"It's an ACL tear," Bosh said. "He tore his ACL not that long ago. I remember there was a point in time where people tore their ACL, they were out for a year, at least, so I think advances in medicine, guys can come back sooner, but the fact still remains that's a tough injury and it's not easy to come back playing a whole game of basketball. It's very difficult."
Rose still waiting:
Derrick Rose didn't want to leave anyone in suspense. He informed reporters at Wednesday's shootaround that his return from ACL surgery would not happen against the streaking Miami Heat.
"Just taking my time and that's about it," Rose said at Wednesday's shootaround. "Been the same way for a couple months now."
Asked if there's still a chance he'll play this season, Rose didn't give a definitive answer.
"I really don't know man," he said. "Like I said, it's in God's hands. Every day I'm just waking up to try and be the best player, try and produce every time I step on the court, just try and get better as a player, and who knows when?"
Before the game, coach Tom Thibodeau talked about Rose's long-running rehab and whether the final step should be playing in actual games.
"Yeah, it is," Thibodeau answered. "But you have to understand his game, too. He's got a power game that's built on speed, agility, change of direction, stop and go. So it's unique.
"We have to make sure he's comfortable being out there. He's close, but he's not quite there. We just want him to work through it and when it's time, he'll go.
"The most important thing for him, and us, is we want him to be completely healthy. We have to continue to show patience, let him work his way through it. He's done a great job with his part. Hopefully he'll be ready."
Thibodeau is hopeful Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis) and Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain) will be available Saturday when the Bulls visit Dallas.
Thibs knows rapper:
Rumors started to grow once again that Derrick Rose might make his comeback against Miami on Wednesday. The cause may have been a tweet from rapper Waka Flocka Flame, who wrote, "Word is D. Rose back."
Coach Tom Thibodeau provided some comic relief at shootaround by not hesitating when asked if knew of the rapper.
"I hear the guys talking about him," Thibodeau said.
Told one of Waka Flocka Flame's songs is titled, "Hard in Da Paint," Thibodeau quickly replied, "I'm for that. I like him more now."