Less than a week before the opening of Bulls' training camp, Derrick Rose got a chance to hear some cheers at the United Center.
Rose hosted a launch party for his new Adidas D-Rose 4 basketball shoe. An enthusiastic crowd of roughly 5,000 fans heard Rose speak briefly between a performance by rapper Big Sean and various basketball entertainment.
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The first practice of training camp is next Saturday at the Berto Center. Rose hasn't played in an NBA game since tearing the ACL in his left knee on April 28, 2012.
"I'm feeling good," Rose said. "Right now my legs are good. Just trying to stay positive and keep my emotions from exploding knowing that the season's around the corner."
After such a long layoff, everyone will be curious to see if Rose will be back to his old self or if he will be rusty when he returns to the court.
"Who knows when I'm going to get my rhythm?" he said. "It might take one game. It might take five games, 10 games. Who knows?
"I think me having that relationship with my teammates and them knowing that and not just depending on me right away; just knowing that I'm just trying to fit in with them, do my job where my job is to come in, run the game and get them open shots and play aggressive.
"I think the guys on the team know that. And me knowing that, too, I think it's going to be a smooth year, a smooth process."
Rose was asked about limitations and hurdles involved in his comeback. He brushed off those questions and looked forward to his preseason debut Oct. 5 at Indiana.
"I wouldn't say (there are any) mental hurdles, but I think it's just going to be an emotional day," he said. "Just playing with (my teammates), being around them, being an active player in the arena, playing in front of people. I haven't had that in a long time.
"My confidence grew as a player, and you'll see that when I play."
Rose spent a month working out in Los Angeles, and he returned recently from an Adidas-sponsored tour of Asia, so he was glad to be home.
"I think this is one of the biggest things I've done in Chicago, if not the biggest thing," Rose said. "For (the fans) to come out on a Sunday, with their families, that's all I could ask for.
"I haven't been here in like 2½ months or something like that."