Rose, Noah receive warm welcome in return to Chicago

CHICAGO— Joakim Noah didn’t agree when Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf assessment that Noah isn’t a front line player anymore but the former Chicago center does agree with the club’s decision to break up the team last offseason.

“I think it was time for change,” Noah said Friday. “There’s no question about that. It seems like this is a happy group, enjoy being around one another. That’s good. That’s what it’s all about, that’s how it should be.”

Noah signed a free agent contract with the Knicks last July and just a few weeks after the Knicks acquired Derrick Rose in a trade. Another Bulls free agent, Pau Gasol, signed with the San Antonio Spurs.

Chicago signed free agents Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to a roster and acquired Robin Lopez in the Rose deal.

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Derrick Rose was born and raised in Chicago.

Derrick Rose was born and raised in Chicago.

(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Noah and Rose returned to Chicago for the first time on Friday which happened to be the same day as the Chicago Cubs championship parade. With Rose and Noah, the Bulls were perennial contenders but they only reached one conference final back in 2011.

“Only thing I can do about that is say I gave it my all. I felt like I gave it my all. I really tried,” Rose said. “I had multiple times where I envisioned winning championships here, and it never happened. So I have to take those visions and take them to New York.”

Rose was born and raised in Chicago but spends his off-season in Los Angeles. He thought the crowd would boo him during player introductions but the fans were mostly favorable. When Rose first touched the ball there were loud boos but both players were cheered when the Bulls played a highlight video of Noah and Rose during the first timeout in the opening period.

"I think it was time for change," Joakim Noah said of leaving the Chicago Bulls in free agency this past offseason.

“I think it was time for change,” Joakim Noah said of leaving the Chicago Bulls in free agency this past offseason.

(Julie Jacobson/AP)

“Being back here, it felt good to tell you the truth,” Rose said Friday. “Especially the Cubs winning, I felt the energy of the city. The city is on some type of high right now. It’s great for the city, with everything that we’ve been going through, the killings, everything. We need some positive light shined here.”

Knicks’ struggles make Chicago return bittersweet for Rose, Noah

****

Rose took exception to a question from a Chicago reporter who asked Rose if he was a good teammate.

“I’m a good person,” Rose said.

Tags:
nba
new york knicks
chicago bulls
derrick rose
joakim noah

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