Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bulls’ Rose ponders playing in Europe

CHICAGO — Fresh off a vacation to Bora Bora with his mother, Brenda, Derrick Rose said Tuesday that if the NBA lockout drags deep into the season, he will consider playing overseas.

"Yes, I am taking into consideration that I might move overseas," Rose said. "I don’t know where. There are a lot of great places overseas. I haven’t really had time to get the details of every place."

Rose said he has one concrete offer from an undisclosed foreign team and a source close to Rose said several others have inquired about his services. The source stressed those opportunities would be pursued only if regular-season games get canceled and labor talks break down for an extended period.

As of now, the first two weeks of training camp have been the only casualty of the NBA lockout, which began July 1.

"It’s kind of weird knowing that I don’t have a job right now," Rose said. "I haven’t felt this way from high school. It’s all positive, though. I’m hoping the season starts no matter when. Hopefully, I don’t have to go overseas.

"I do miss talking to the people at the Bulls organization, my coaching staff. I miss that. But it’s not stressful or anything. I’m not panicking. I’m taking my time."

Rose spoke on the renovated playground at Murray Park, the South Side basketball court where he first honed his skills in pick-up games. A bevy of Rose’s sponsors, spearheaded by Powerade, began renovations on the court in May with the aid of the Chicago Park District. The spiffy unveiling Tuesday included Rose talking to 100 select children, who each received gift bags from Adidas, and answering questions from them before posing for group photos.

"Just coming back here, I know it means a lot not only to me but the community," Rose said. "If I was younger, I think it’d be cool for a guy who made it before me came back to show he appreciates us and didn’t forget about us. Every day, every time I play, they’re the reason I play, this neighborhood right here. This court is what brings everyone together. People have picnics, barbecues up here. It means a lot to this neighborhood."

And Rose vowed to continue spreading a positive message about his neighborhood.

"This is only the base," he said. "You never know in a couple of years not only me but what some other people can do for this neighborhood. I’m looking to change it. People look at Englewood as a bad neighborhood. But it’s everything to us."

Rose rued the potential damage an extended lockout would have on the fans. Until it ends, he planned to resume workouts in Santa Monica, Calif., his home base for a busy offseason that has included extended promotional trips to Europe and Asia. His popularity particularly in the Far East has reached rock star levels.

"It’s a blessing," he said. "I’m only 22 and I’ve seen almost half the world at a young age. I don’t take it for granted at all."


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