Over the past few weeks, Bulls players have been doling out heaping helpings of optimism about the upcoming season. Kyle Korver bragged up team chemistry and Carlos Boozer set the modest organization goal of a championship. Now, amidst rumors of some serious Boozer-inspired training camp synergy, we have been informed that Derrick Rose believes he can be one simple little thing:
Said Rose: “The way I look at it, why can’t I be the MVP in the league? Why can’t I be the best player in the league? I don’t see why not. I work hard, I dedicate myself to the game and sacrifice a lot of things at a young age, and I know, if I continue to do good what I can get out of it. If that’s me going out and doing whatever, I’m willing to do it because in the long run I know it’s gonna help me.
“This is the hardest I’ve ever worked out, this past summer. I’ve put a lot of work in, staying in the gym every day, making sure I’m getting prepared for a big season because I believe we can make it far.”
Teammate Joakim Noah, who as of this writing still isn’t contractually obligated to the Bulls past this season, is very cool with Rose’s personal goals: “Derrick is an unbelievable talent and things have really changed around here since he’s been in Chicago. If Derrick feels that way, that’s good for us.”
I mostly agree. I mean, do I worry about the team building unrealistic expectations? Sure, a little. After all, there have been high expectations around here before. Prior to the 2007-08 season, Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng were supposed to be the core of a squad that some people thought could make it to the NBA Finals. Now Gordon and Hinrich are gone, and if the Bulls could flip Deng’s contract, they probably would.
Still, all things being equal, the Bull seem to have more raw talent than any Chicago team since the Michael Jordan era. And Rose has as much upside of any Bulls player since MJ retired the second time. So why not? Let the kid’s confidence flow.
One other training camp random: According to Doug Thonus of ChicagoNow, Taj Gibson has been developing his three-point shot (although “it’s still probably a year away”). That’s great and all, I guess. But I have to admit, I would have rather read that Gibson had spent the summer developing his post game.