ORLANDO, Fla. – It was the type of question players get asked only at All-Star Games: If you could have a superhero power, what would it be?
“I would want to be invisible,” Bulls guard Derrick Rose said Friday afternoon, playing along with the reporter.
Not a bad answer, considering all the attention he has received and all the trade rumors involving his teammates entering the break.
Rose reiterated that he wants the front office to leave the team as is, insisting he wasn’t frustrated with all the talk just yet, “Knowing that some of it is not true, a majority of it is not true. I know that with the coaches and players that are on the team, we don’t want anyone to leave the team.”
That didn’t stop the names from flowing, as the media continued to put Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol in Bulls uniforms through different trade scenarios.
The Gasol rumor really hit close to home for Rose, considering it was a report that claimed Rose asked management to land the Lakers power forward by sending Carlos Boozer out of town.
“People said that I wanted Carlos Boozer to be traded for Pau Gasol,” Rose said. “That’s something I never said. People just make anything up to sell newspapers, I guess.
“I talked to Booz right afterward and told him that it wasn’t true. He didn’t believe it. So we’re on the same page. And our goal is to win a championship.”
As far as Howard, Rose always has said that he wouldn’t play recruiter, and that hasn’t changed.
“I don’t recruit people, but Chicago speaks for itself,” Rose said. “It’s a great marketing city. If anyone chooses to come here, it’s a great city to be in.
“I try not to think about it because [Howard’s] not with us. But just knowing the type of player he is and how he’s playing with his team right now, I think we’d be pretty good.”
Raving about Luol
The person who seemed most excited about forward Luol Deng making the All-Star team was Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who couldn’t stop raving about what Deng has meant to his team this season.
“I don’t think there’s a more deserving guy based on what he brings to our team,” Thibodeau said. “I felt like he should have made it last year. There’s always deserving players that get left off, and I felt like he fell into that category. I’m thrilled that he made it this year because I think he earned it. What he’s brought to our team in terms of winning, it can’t be measured statistically.
“And he continues to get better. He’s never satisfied. Each year he adds something to his game. And he’s a great leader – gets there early, stays late, sets a great example – so I’m very happy for him.”
With Rose healthy and cleared to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, Thibodeau couldn’t help but smirk when he was asked about the defense his Eastern squad can throw at the West.
With Rose, Deng, LeBron James and Howard in the middle, the possibilities are endless and right up Thibodeau’s alley.
“That’s the beauty of this team, the versatility of the guys we have,” Thibodeau said. “We can put out five great defenders, three great point guards. There’s a lot of different things you can do. There are a lot of options out there.”