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Regarding Derrick Rose return, Thibs doesn’t concur with Kerr

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose cheers his team from bench during second half Game 3 their first-round NBA basketball

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose cheers on his team from the bench during the second half of Game 3 of their first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, Thursday, April 25, 2013, in Chicago. The Bulls won 79-76. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Updated: June 3, 2013 3:47PM



Former Bulls guard Steve Kerr’s comments didn’t go unnoticed.

There just weren’t a lot of ­people at the Berto Center who agreed with what he said about Derrick Rose.

During the Game 5 telecast on TNT, Kerr was asked about Rose working through the mental hurdles of coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and said, “I think where the Bulls are now with this series with Kirk Hinrich struggling with the calf injury, if Derrick is OK and there’s no threat to further injury, I think he’s got to play. He has to put himself out there for 15-20 minutes.

“Look at what [Joakim] Noah and Hinrich are putting themselves through with their injuries. I think it’s time for Derrick . . . maybe he owes it to his teammates.”

Hinrich said Rose doesn’t owe them anything.

“We don’t feel that way,’’ Hinrich said. “We know what kind of guy he is and what kind of teammate he is, and we don’t feel that way. I haven’t heard one ill word said about it.

“You give a guy who has that type of character the benefit of the doubt. We know that he’s such a big part of this organization and this team that we trust he’s making the right decision for that and for himself.’’

Rose was working on his outside shot at the end of practice Wednesday but did not meet with the media, trying not to be a ­distraction.

Good luck with that.

Coach Tom Thibodeau was asked if Rose could play in Game 6 on Thursday, and he trotted out his well-worn answer to the ­media.

“There’s always a chance,’’ Thibodeau said, before smiling. “Small as it might be.’’

Thibodeau, however, understood why there has been so much growing scrutiny.

“Derrick owes it to do what’s right, and the more I’m around him, the more I’m impressed with this guy’s character,’’ Thibodeau said.

“He’s not being swayed by ­anybody. . . . I would never question him, ever.

“There is a big difference between the time of injury that he’s had and all these other injuries [Bulls players are dealing with], and we certainly appreciate what all the other guys are doing, but Derrick has had a very serious injury. It requires time. He’s 24 years old. We’re not going to rush him back.

‘‘When he’s completely comfortable, that’s when we want him out there. If that means we wait another game, if that means we wait until next year, so be it.’’



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