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Derrick Rose is sorry he let city down by missing free throws against Heat

Forward Carlos Boozer (18 points 9-for-16 shooting) argues call during Bulls’ road victory against WashingtWizards Monday.  |  Rob

Forward Carlos Boozer (18 points on 9-for-16 shooting) argues a call during the Bulls’ road victory against the Washington Wizards on Monday. | Rob Carr~Getty Images

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Updated: March 1, 2012 9:51AM

WASHINGTON — Derrick Rose didn’t just let himself and his teammates down. He let the entire city of Chicago down when he missed two free throws with 22.7 seconds left that could have given the Bulls the lead in an eventual loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday. At least that’s how he sees it.

“I’m just hurt not for me but for the city of Chicago,” Rose said. “Knowing how big that game was not only to me and the organization but to our fans. That’s a rivalry. You have your best player, and he has the opportunity to take the lead and I didn’t come through. The only thing I can do is hope the fans stick with me and stay with me. I promise I won’t let them down again.”

Twenty-four hours later, Rose was trying to get his mind around his failure. People, including his brothers, who were in Miami, have tried to encourage him. He vows to make up for it next time.

“That’s something I live for,” he said. “I think of my legacy. I want people to think of me as a clutch player, someone that always came through a majority of the time when they were on the court. ­Yesterday, it hurt a little bit, but it will help me in the long run.”

Rose said that his sprained left big toe is no longer bothering him and that getting rest is his biggest priority, along with keeping his hometown happy.

“I like to see my city happy, especially if I’m one of the reasons why,” he said. “I know what we went through when [Michael Jordan] left. We went through a lot of years where people didn’t really watch the Bulls. For them to start watching the Bulls, and for the organization to get our fans back means a lot to me. When you see people and they have Bulls hats on and Bulls apparel on it means a lot to me.”

Budding rivals

The Heat aren’t the Bulls’ only rival. Rose said he couldn’t wait to play the Pacers again after they celebrated at the United Center after a 95-90 victory Wednesday. Pacers coach Frank Vogel fired back Monday during an interview on ESPN Radio.

“I don’t know if we really celebrated any more than a lot of teams celebrate when they get a road win,” Vogel said. “I know they’ve got a couple guys on their team who celebrate on every play. I just think it’s the thrill of victory.

“If they want to add some spice to the rivalry, we welcome that. Rivalries are fun. Winning is fun. It’s all good.”


John Lucas III has been ­hearing plenty about LeBron James’ epic dunk over him in Sunday’s game.

“My cousins, homeboys, everybody was texting me and sending me pictures,” Lucas III said. “It is what it is. It’s all good.”

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