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Derrick Rose touts his new shoe — and his health

NBA star Derrick Rose Chicago Bulls talks during an exhibitigame Smart Aranetcoliseum suburban Quezcity north ManilPhilippines Sunday Sept. 15 2013.

NBA star Derrick Rose of Chicago Bulls talks during an exhibition game at the Smart Araneta coliseum in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. Rose is in the country as part of the Asia leg of his promotional tour. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

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Derrick Rose’s knee will remain a question mark until he takes the court for a meaningful NBA game.

His ability to block out the negativity that seems to be hanging over him like a cloud since last season never has been a question.

“It really didn’t faze me,’’ Rose said Sunday at the United Center. “Really, you hear stuff. If you’re weak-minded, of course it’s going to bother you. But I know that with me, through all the criticism, it feels good that I made it this far.

“They said I couldn’t shoot, they said so many things about me, and here I am, where I’ve got my own signature shoe coming and I’m having this big buzz. So for me seeing this success and just knowing that I could care less about what people say about me, that’s what keeps me at bay.’’

Leave it to the 2010-11 MVP to not only have the ability to quiet the naysayers but promote his new “DRose 4’’ shoe from Adidas all in the same breath.

But what really matters to the Bulls is that Rose continued to say the torn left anterior cruciate ligament that cost him all of last season is in the rear-view mirror.

When asked if there were any lingering problems with the knee, Rose replied, “No, not at all.

“I think that my diet has changed. Me changing my diet is allowing me to have so much energy and really helping me with my training because I’m going into my training, working hard and the next day, not being sore, and still working hard at the same time, pushing myself. I think it’s allowing me to become a better player.’’

That’s what the franchise is counting on. Expecting a healthy Rose is why the Luol Deng trade talk was coming from other teams this offseason and not Bulls general manager Gar Forman.

It’s why Carlos Boozer went on a new diet that trimmed his body to where his weight was long before he came to Chicago.

It’s why there’s a buzz.

“I think it’s close,’’ Rose said of challenging for a title. “With the same team, with the nucleus that we have, we made it to the conference finals, so with a couple of plays, that could have easily changed the outcome, but like I said, every player is getting better individually. I think everybody’s healed up for this big year. It’s just going to take time for me to adjust back to my teammates because they’re used to playing with each other.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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