Derrick Rose ‘recruited’ Bulls player
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Throughout his career, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has been against “recruiting” players to come play alongside him in Chicago.
Rose reportedly didn’t put much effort into recruiting LeBron James or any other free agents during the free agent frenzy of 2010.
But when Kirk Hinrich, who played for the Bulls from 2003-2010, became a free agent this past summer, an injured Rose put in a call.
“Is Kirk the first person I recruited?” Rose asked a media crowd. “Yeah, Kirk is the first person I recruited. I only got a chance to play with him for a short period of time. For me to have him back, knowing how hard he wants to win, knowing he’s been a winner all of his life, I know we’re going to be good together.”
Hinrich, 31, played for the Bulls during Rose’s first two seasons and helped the No. 1 overall draft pick acclimate to the NBA.
Ironically, the Bulls traded Hinrich to the Washington Wizards in 2010 to open enough salary-cap room to make a run at signing James, who instead took his talents to South Beach.
Rose said Hinrich’s tenacious style of play and character made him pick up the phone to orchestrate a reunion.
“I think Kirk is someone I could see myself playing with for a long time,” Rose said. “It’s nothing more than when you’re a hooper and you know who’s going on the court with you and he’s not giving up and will keep battling. I’m someone who’s going to keep fighting until the end. He’s the same way. Why not have him on the team?”
But Rose and Hinrich won’t be playing together until midseason at the earliest, as Rose rehabs his knee from a torn ACL he suffered in last season’s playoffs.
“Obviously, missing Derrick, it’s a huge blow,” Hinrich said. “But there are a lot of guys on this team who’ve been around a long time. I know everyday we’re going to go out, compete, defend, share the ball, and do the things it takes to win.” … [For more on Derrick Rose 'recruited' Bulls player, click here.]