McGraw: Don't make too much of Rose's pregame message

There's no reason to make too big a deal about Derrick Rose's pregame wardrobe choice Saturday.

It was unusual for him to express an opinion that could be viewed as controversial. Still, he did nothing more than wear a T-shirt for a few minutes during warmups.

If anything, it would have been nice if Rose stuck around in the locker room and talked about his decision to wear the shirt reading “I can't breathe” rather than leave it to his teammates to discuss the meaning behind it.

In some ways, the public seems eager for famous athletes to express opinions. The athletes are essentially living fantasy lives and the public expects some social responsibility in return. But most athletes choose to give back through charitable contributions, rather than getting behind causes.

Rose and Joakim Noah have been vocal about efforts to stop gun violence in Chicago. Rose donated $1 million to After School Matters and renovated the basketball court at his neighborhood park in Englewood.

If Rose wore a shirt during warmups that read “Support the police,” what would the reaction have been? It's a perfectly reasonable sentiment. The police play a vital role in every community and perform tens of thousands of positive acts for every awful incident such as the death of Eric Garner in a chokehold or the shooting of Akai Gurley in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project.

It would be nice if star athletes such as Rose, or Michael Jordan, took a stronger stand on tough issues. But it's also easy to see why they avoid it. Not only can good intentions be taken the wrong way, everyone in the world is a potential shoe-buyer.

Defense is deficient:

After giving up 61 points in the first half and 112 for the game against Golden State, the obvious question is, what happened to the Bulls' defense?

As of Sunday morning, the Bulls ranked 19th in the league points allowed at 100.5 per game.

It's no wonder coach Tom Thibodeau waited 30 minutes after the loss to Golden State before starting his news conference. By that time, most reporters were in the locker room talking to players.

“I think our trust has to be better,” Joakim Noah said. “We're not where we need to be, and that's in every area on the defensive end. We all have to do a better job. That goes for everybody. I take the blame for some of it. We all have to be on the same page and right now we're not where we need to be.”

It's worth keeping in mind that it usually takes time for the Bulls to master Thibodeau's defensive schemes. Back in 2010-11, Thibodeau's first season, which included an early injury to Carlos Boozer and plenty of new faces on the roster, they were 12-8 after 20 games and giving up 98.9 points.

On Saturday, part of the problem was 23 turnovers, which helped the Warriors pile up 27 fastbreak points in the first half. They gave too much help at times, but that game could be written off to Golden State's talent.

The Bulls tried to limit Steph Curry and let Draymond Green try to beat them. He did. Green scored a career-high 31 points by hitting 7 of 13 shots from 3-point range.

With Taj Gibson back from a sprained ankle, Thibodeau has a chance to make some progress in practice. The Bulls don't play again until hosting Brooklyn on Wednesday.

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