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Tom Thibodeau says those critical of Derrick Rose don’t have a clue

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Updated: October 29, 2013 6:14AM



Meet the new and improved Tom Thibodeau.

Just seconds after finishing his news conference Friday at the Berto Center, the Bulls coach promised a new “warm and fuzzy’’ persona.

Obviously, it’s going to be a work in progress.

Discussing the criticism that point guard Derrick Rose received while sitting out all of last season to recover from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament, “warm and fuzzy’’ was chucked out the window.

“The people that have been around Derrick … I think our real fans have an appreciation for him,’’ Thibodeau said at the team’s media day. “I think the people that criticized him, they don’t know what they’re talking about.’’

Rose has had a much gentler approach to handling the criticism — almost refreshing.

“You got to look at it from both sides,’’ Rose said. “As a fan — and there were fans of how I played — of course I would want my favorite player to be back out there. But at the same time, the idea of me going out there and injuring myself again, I don’t want to put myself into that position.

“I just tried to stay far away from [the criticism] and think everything through. Just stay positive.’’

That’s easier said after Rose again declared himself 100 percent and ready for his first practice of training camp Saturday morning.

“You hear a lot of criticism, you hear stuff, my friends bring stuff to me, but there’s nothing you can do about it,’’ Rose said. “All I can do is continue to work hard and continue to compete as a player.’’

The Bulls will monitor Rose’s workload in practice and preseason games.

“We’ve met about it and talked about it quite a bit as a staff,’’ general manager Gar Forman said of Rose’s minutes. “It will remain fluid as we go. It’s difficult at this point to look ahead and say where his minutes will be two weeks from now, four weeks from now, whatever time frame you put on it.

“As of today, there’s no hard limit as far as his minutes. It’s just something that will remain fluid and something we’ll keep a close eye on.’’

A lot of that responsibility will fall on Thibodeau. He’s no stranger to criticism for the workload he has put on his players. But with a bench that he believes is as good as he’s had with the Bulls and an open dialogue that he and Rose share, Thibodeau doesn’t see it as an obstacle.

“I don’t want to get into specific numbers because I don’t know what they’ll be, and he’s made it clear to me that he doesn’t want big restrictions on what he can do,’’ Thibodeau said. “But as I told him, we’ll have to wait to see. But it’ll be a process, and whatever he can handle, that’s what he’ll get.’’

That’s fine with Rose.

“It’s just playing everything smart,’’ Rose said. “It’s my limitations. I wish I could go out there and play the same minutes [from before the injury], but I’m leaving that up to Thibs.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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