It is the Fourth of July and a beautiful day in Chicago. You should be barbequing or hanging out with friends and family or drinking on a boat. You should not be following the daily stupidity of the Chicago Bulls while doing it. Literally any other activity is a better use of your time right now. That's why I'm going to assume not everyone is up on this latest Chris Broussard report on Derrick Rose's involvement in the Bulls' pitch to Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday. Let's go over what Broussard is reporting:
- Rose was surprised to see Carmelo Anthony at the United Center while he was going through a scheduled workout. "He didn't even know what time Melo was coming," a source told Broussard.
- Contrary to a report by K.C. Johnson that said Rose and Anthony spoke for 15-20 minutes, Broussard is reporting Rose said only a "brief hello" to Melo. He was not part of the Bulls' pitch.
- The Bulls' front office reportedly never even asked Rose to be part of the pitch. "Derrick wasn't bothered that he wasn't a part of it," a source tells Broussard. "He was just kind of shocked, like, 'Man, I didn't get the memo.'"
As with all things Bulls and all things Derrick Rose, the recruitment of Melo was bound to get weird. This is one of the stealthiest organizations in the NBA, one that doesn't leak or reveal even the slightest hints about how they want to build the roster. Rose is introverted and sensitive, and he's watched his character assassinated over the last two seasons at least partially because of something that may have been the team's doing (the report that he was cleared to play on March 1, 2013). These are perfect conditions for a shitstorm, and that appears to be what the Bulls have on their hands right now. At least if you have a certain type of worldview, it can all be seen as kind of hilarious.
I think there are three things to remember here:
1. Who cares if Rose recruits?
Derrick Rose does not give many memorable quotes, but it's hard to forget this one: "I'm rolling with Keith". That would be Keith Bogans, the starting shooting guard for the 2010-11 team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Bogans averaged 4.4 points per game in those 82 starts, and Rose didn't seem to think he needed a better player next to him in the backcourt.
Even before the Keith Bogans era, Rose has steadfastly maintained he does not want to recruit additional help to Chicago. He doesn't feel comfortable doing it. I also don't think it's unfair to think there might be a small part of him that always wants to be the biggest star on the team. This is his home city, after all. Let's not forget that Woj once reported Rose wanted the Bulls to sign Joe Johnson and Boozer when they were pitching LeBron, Wade and Bosh in 2010.
This gets many fans worked up, but it doesn't really bother me for one reason: Derrick Rose would be a terrible recruiter. Rose was once a great basketball player and hopefully still will be going forward, but just because you're the best player on the team doesn't mean you have to also be the best saleman. Rose is a very private person who has had a lot of life experiences that have led him to become that way. He is probably a little bit too far inside of his head. He is the exact opposite of someone who you want recruiting talent to this team.
You want a recruiter who is outgoing and expressive and passionate about what it's like to play for this city, this team, this coach. You want Joakim Noah. Noah was part of the Bulls' recruitment of Melo and even made the trip out to L.A. yesterday to hang with Pau Gasol. Noah is the perfect recruiter. He's two-time All-Star in his own right and someone who makes the game easier for everyone else on the court. Good players want to play with him.
Which is to say: I don't care about D. Rose not wanting to recruit, because I'd much rather have Noah doing it.
2. What side is this coming from?
This is what's really bizarre. There have been three distinct reports to come out about Rose's involvement in the recruiting pitch to Melo:
- Alex Kennedy reported Rose put on a private workout for Melo to show he was healthy.
- K.C. Johnson reported the workout was incidental and that Rose and Melo spoke for 15-20 minutes.
- Broussard is now reporting Rose didn't even know Melo was going to be in the building while he was there.
All of this is coming from different people, you would have to think. Kennedy didn't make up what he heard, someone told it to him. Same goes for K.C. and Broussard. As K.C. said:
The @Chris_Broussard report DRose was shocked to see Melo speaks to disconnect somewhere. Bulls under impression Rose small part of pitch.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 4, 2014
My guess is this latest Broussard report is coming from someone in the organization who is sick of Rose's shit, whether fairly or not. There is enough evidence to suggest maybe the Bulls are not always approving of Rose's behavior. Even if Gar Forman, John Paxson and Jerry Reinsdorf are all publicly supportive of Rose, let's remember that there are a lot of different people in the front office.
Is there also a chance this was coming from Rose's people? I think so. This quote would seem to suggest it: "Derrick wasn't bothered that he wasn't a part of it," a source tells Broussard. "He was just kind of shocked, like, 'Man, I didn't get the memo.'"
So, why bring this up to an ESPN reporter? Maybe Rose doesn't want Melo. Remember, there was a report that he preferred Kevin Love. But even beyond that, it's likelier (in the unlikely event that this is coming from Rose's side) Rose is just sort of fed up with the organization.
3. It's Broussard
This should go without saying. There is nothing to like about Chris Broussard. He will be late on every report, and frame it with SOURCES: even after the direct source has announced it. He once went on ESPN and said LeBron signing with the Bulls was a done deal. He called being gay "an open rebellion to god". He's not the best reporter, and I don't feel bad saying it.
What Broussard is reporting is different than what K.C. reported. We should believe K.C., yes? The problem here is that someone still told Broussard this shit. He isn't making it up.
It all goes back to just how bizarre both the organization and Rose can be. I don't know what to make of it because every argument seems at least somewhat plausible. These are the Chicago Bulls, and they are socially inept weirdos.
Please go enjoy your Fourth of July.