‘Mistreated’ C.J. Watson fails to clarify Derrick Rose comment
BY NEIL HAYES email@example.com December 15, 2012 11:14PM
Former Bulls guard C.J. Watson said he wasn’t treated fairly after the team’s Game 6 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs last season. | Gregory Shamus~Getty Images
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Updated: January 17, 2013 6:51AM
Former Bulls guard C.J. Watson returned to the United Center on Saturday night and tried to clarify a comment he made during the offseason about how Nets teammate Deron Williams is a better point guard than ex-teammate Derrick Rose.
Or did he?
“Actually, I didn’t say that,” Watson said. “I said, ‘To me, he was the best point guard.’ The guy asked me who was better. He said compare the two, and I said you can’t compare the two.”
Watson went on to say he never considered re-signing with the Bulls after last season and that he wasn’t treated fairly in the wake of the Bulls’ Game 6 loss to the 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.
Watson, who was an 81 percent free-throw shooter, passed to Omer Asik, a 45 percent free-throw shooter, with seven seconds left. Asik was fouled and missed both free throws, and the Bulls were eliminated 79-78.
“The season ended how it ended,” he said. “I wasn’t sorry about that. I knew I could do better. It was a critical mistake maybe at the time, but I didn’t think it was. I just thought I got mistreated.”
Watson was averaging 18.7 minutes, 7.1 points and two assists going into the game against the Bulls.
“As a coaching staff, we had to figure out exactly how we wanted to use him,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said. “He’s back to playing C.J. Watson defense; he’s shooting the ball better. We know some of his favorite spots now where he likes to operate. He and Joe Johnson play real well together. He’s starting to get into somewhat of a good rhythm.”
Watson said he keeps in touch with former ‘‘Bench Mob’’ members Kurt Thomas, Ronnie Brewer and John Lucas III.
“It was fun because we all knew our roles and knew what to do and knew who was going to get the ball and score and who was going to play defense,” Watson said. “Everybody just played their role to the best of their ability.”
Watson might not have shed much light on his offseason comment about Rose, but he left no doubt when asked if he missed Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s practices.
“No,” he said, “not at all. I like these 30-, 45-minute practices.”