Bulls guard Derrick Rose reacts after he thought he was fouled going to the basket and no call was made in the second quarter of the Chicago Bulls 104-99 win over the New York Knicks Monday March 12, 2012 at the United Center. | TOM CRUZE~Sun-Times photo
Updated: May 9, 2012 11:55AM
Two officials talked earlier this season about what a class act Derrick Rose is.
He doesn’t complain or plead for calls like so many other NBA players, they said, although that might have changed forever after the Bulls’ 104-99 victory Monday against the Knicks at the United Center.
Rose was as emotional as he has ever been, and it wasn’t directed at Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin but at the officiating crew of Bill Kennedy, Tommy Nunez Jr. and Kane Fitzgerald. He expressed his frustration from the outset after failing to draw fouls on several early drives.
He angrily told the officials after inbounding the ball that the Knicks were setting illegal screens. After the game, his critical comments about the officiating resulted in the league fining him $25,000.
It will be money well spent if speaking his mind results in more calls going his way. Unfortunately in the NBA, the squeaky wheel often gets the oil.
“Derrick is not a complainer,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Usually, if he says something, he has a point he wants to make. I thought he was driving the ball pretty hard and didn’t get calls.”
The contrast to Rose can be seen when the Heat visits the United Center on Wednesday.
LeBron James is known for holding gamelong conversations with officials. Eyes roll across the league when, instead of retreating to the bench during timeouts, he huddles with officials instead. James remained on the court to make his case with officials at halftime of the Bulls’ loss in Miami earlier this year.
Is it any wonder the Heat shot 40 free throws in that game to 28 for the Bulls?
Nobody wants Rose to go to that extreme. He’s a quiet guy. While it would be unlike him to flop to draw charging fouls or bitterly complain whenever a foul goes uncalled, he needs to find a way to keep the lines of communication open with officials while being true to himself.
It’s a bigger issue than people might think, considering James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh attempted 114 free throws in the Eastern Conference finals last season while the entire Bulls team only shot 110.
“It comes with experience, and he’s developing relationships,” Thibodeau said when asked if Rose needed to better make his case. “He’s a hard guy to officiate. Sometimes because of his speed and power, you don’t recognize when he’s being hit. Usually, he’ll play through things and not say very much. He was frustrated, so he made his point.”
Rose said after the game Monday that he didn’t care if he got fined.
“He’s very respectful about making his points,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t think he ever is at a point where he shows somebody up. When he has something to say, he says it.”