Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
MINNEAPOLIS — The Derrick Rose MVP campaign continued gaining momentum, this time with a blessing from the King.
Before the reigning two-time Most Valuable Player took the court in Washington on Wednesday, Le-Bron James all but crowned the Bulls point guard with the 2010-11 honor, telling reporters, “I think [it’s] Derrick Rose. What he’s done for that team, with all the injuries they have and them being first in the Eastern Conference — they’re playing some really good basketball.’’
Rose was asked about the comments made from the Heat star and admitted he was “speechless.’’
“Yeah . . . I’m speechless right now, to tell you the truth,” Rose said. “It’s great to hear that, but you know me. Right now, I could care less about what people are saying.’’
Good thing, because not everyone shares the opinion of King James.
Earlier in the day, former “Bad Boys’’ poster boy Bill Laimbeer, an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves, was not only asked about Rose as an MVP, but also asked to compare him to Bulls legend Michael Jordan.
“I wouldn’t compare them because I don’t really care about either of them,” Laimbeer said on “Waddle & Silvy” on ESPN Radio 1000. “One is a point guard, and one is a shooting guard. They are two completely different positions. Derrick Rose has a lot to learn also as far as getting his teammates more involved. He takes the ball a lot himself these days. But he’s a very aggressive player, he’s fast, he’s strong and he has the great skill set to be very successful. To compare the two would be a stretch at this point.’’
Rose continued downplaying the hype about the award, insisting it’s about wins first and foremost.
“I think everyone in the league knows that I can play a little bit,’’ Rose said. “The award, it would be great to bring it back to Chicago, but all the ink and all the other stuff, I’m not worried about it. As long as we’re winning, I’m fine.’’
James, Rose and Dwight Howard have been leading the MVP debate for the last month, but James seems to have his mind made up.
“Derrick Rose definitely has gotten a lot of the exposure and a lot of the media attention because of the work he’s done,’’ James said. “He’s playing some unbelievable basketball.’’
Lots of Love
Rose is no stranger to what Kevin Love is capable of doing, considering the two, along with Russell Westbrook of the Thunder, worked out together most of the summer and have played against each other since their high school days in AAU.
Rose said he’s not surprised by Love’s season averages of 20 points and 15 rebounds.
“You should see how hard he goes,” Rose said. “When we work out, we don’t do any big-man drills. He does guard stuff. It’s amazing how hard he works out.’’