The Derrick Rose effect on the court is yet to be felt.
There are indications throughout the training camp that Rose’s absence could benefit the chemistry the team plays with, as well as raising the basketball IQ of the starting five, but make no mistake that Rajon Rondo doesn’t have the pure physical skillset that Rose has.
The Rose effect off the court, however, well, it doesn’t sound like the Bulls miss the often-injured veteran point guard, especially with more head-shaking news coming out of the rape trial involving Rose and two friends taking place in Los Angeles.
Surprisingly, most of the players that were teammates of Rose have insisted they haven’t really been paying attention, asking for updates now and then.
Veteran Taj Gibson only referred to both Joakim Noah and Rose as “family’’ when asked about their absence, but offered up no take on the Rose trial.
Then again, it’s a tough line to walk.
In one instance they want to support a guy they called a friend, but they also have to stay an arm’s length away considering the sensitivity of the case Rose is involved in.
One member of the Bulls organization was stunned that Rose simply didn’t just “pay her and make it go away,’’ but the company line since media day over two weeks ago was to play ignorant in all things Rose and the court case.
Fred Hoiberg reiterated that after the Wednesday practice.
“I honestly haven’t,’’ Hoiberg said, when asked if he had been paying attention to the details of the trial. “You get so caught up in what we’re trying to establish here and get our foundation built.’’
Hoiberg said that he reached out to Rose right after the trade to New York was announced back in June, but hasn’t been in any communication with Rose since.
“I sent him a message saying I enjoyed working with him right after the trade happened,’’ Hoiberg said. “But as far as the other stuff, I haven’t been focusing in on it at all.’’
Hoiberg admittedly had no problem with Rose last season, and said several times throughout his rookie coaching campaign that Rose did everything that was asked of him.
There was an obvious disconnect, both on and off the court, between Rose and All-Star Jimmy Butler that never seemed to get resolved, and one had to go, but even with all of Rose’s will he play, won’t he play moments, Hoiberg never felt like it was a distraction to the team.
“I didn’t find it a distraction last year,’’ Hoiberg said. “He obviously had the unfortunate incident on the first day of practice where he broke that orbital bone. That set not only him back but our team back a little bit when your lead guard has that type of injury that early in training camp, especially when you’re trying to implement a new system. That was tough.
“He fought through the injury and got himself back in the type of shape he needed to be in. Was it a distraction with the hometown thing? I didn’t find it that way.’’
But there’s also a reason that Hoiberg’s second training camp has been much tougher on the players than last season.
No longer does the coach have to worry about a heavy practice workload leading to more Rose setbacks, and Hoiberg is also looking to make his team mentally tougher than it was when Rose was that lead guard.
“There were a lot of times last year where adversity hit us and we didn’t fight through it the way we needed to,’’ Hoiberg said. “We had some painful losses because of that.’’