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Jalen Rose on Coming to Chicago


February 20, 2002

Moments after passing his physical and officially becoming a member of the Chicago Bulls, Jalen Rose met the media and here is what he had to say about coming to Chicago, his new situation and his thoughts on Coach Bill Cartwright.

Jalen Rose Rose on the trade: "I'm excited about it. I embrace the opportunity. That's what every kid dreams about."
"It's a feeling of fresh opportunity. You're placed in a position a lot of times where not only you're wanted, but where God feels you're needed. Obviously, regardless of what players they bring in here right now, there are still going to have to be some additions in order for this to become not only a playoff team but a championship caliber team, whether it's Allen Iverson or Tim Duncan. We do have our work cut out for us. But at the same time, hopefully this will be a step in the right direction and we are excited for the opportunity and challenge.

To be honest with you, anytime you look up at the standings and the team has won 20 or less games the last couple of seasons, that's probably not the team you're circling in the standings to play for. At the same time, it has to start somewhere.

I'm excited to be here. Hopefully, I won't have to answer too many questions about why I'm here or the element that brought me here. The bottom line is I'm a Chicago Bull today. I'm excited to embrace the new challenge. Obviously, this challenge has a long way to go to get a Larry O'Brien championship trophy. But it has to start somewhere.

As a player, you never envision yourself playing anywhere besides the team that you're on. That's just part of teamwork. It's going to be different. But once I put that jersey on my back, it's going to be something I'll get used to real fast.

Anytime you talk about being traded and you look at the standings, you would hope it's not the worst team overall record-wise in the league. But there are stages in the NBA. There are teams that are fighting to make the playoffs, teams that make the playoffs, teams that are in the NBA Finals, teams that win the championship. Everybody else is pretty much the same. Hopefully, we can put ourselves into a position where we're getting better every season. Obviously, having under 20 wins the last couple of seasons doesn't necessarily bode well for me standing here saying this. This is going to take a lot of work. Obviously, we need more players.

David Falk loves Chicago. He told me that the fans and the organization are going to embrace me. Anytime that you've had the success that they've had with championships and the track record with great players, it breeds a positive atmosphere.

Forty-eight hours ago, I was part of the Batman and Robin tandem. Now I feel more like the Batman. I embrace the challenge and the opportunity. Anytime you're a professional, you want the opportunity to see what abilities you really have deep down inside you. This is a scenario that's going to test that. Obviously, the No. 1 goal of every team when they suit up is to go out and win the championship. But the championship happens in stages. Hopefully, we're working toward that.

A lot of people respond to losing in different ways. I'm not a good loser. I don't believe in moral victories. That's a tough question to answer. Right now, my record is 0-0.

Jalen Rose Rose is one of four players to average over 20 points, five rebounds and five assists last season.
I'm excited about it. I embrace the opportunity. That's what every kid dreams about. Every kid dreams about standing in this position talking about having an opportunity to take a team to a championship level. It's going to take a lot of work. No one player in the NBA that you put in this scenario is going to turn it around overnight. I'm not going to let my ego think that just because we have Jalen Rose, we'll going to win it all next year. It's going to be a process. As long as we continue to add and continue to build, it's going to get better.

As a player, perception only goes as far as an individual. A lot of times organizations find ways to rub players the wrong way and vice versa. Me personally, I can't get caught up in that. What happened in the past happened in the past. Anytime you have a dynasty, eventually it has to end. That dynasty did end. It was unfortunate for Bulls fans. You have to start over. That's what the Pacers were doing. And that's what the Bulls are doing.

My initial impression of Coach Cartwright is that he really wants to win. He knows that it's going to be a process. He told us to go out, get better and have fun at it. He said they're going to be a lot of times where you walk in the locker room and you're going to feel like you're letting yourself down because sometimes losing is tough to take. It takes a man to lose just like it takes a man to win.

I have played with just about all the high school players in the league. It's a maturation process, but it's also an individual thing. There are a lot of high school players who never make the transition, whether they're not good enough mentally or physically. There are some high school players who make the transition right off. As long as you continue to work and get better and you get the opportunity to play, the sky's the limit.

We need them [the high schoolers] for all of our sake. The long-term goal is to win a championship. Every team talks about how they want to win it. But at the end of the day, there are probably three, four or five teams that really go after it and have a legitimate chance to win. Obviously, this season or next season, we won't be one of those five teams. At the same time, we can work for it, get better and improve. And we're going to be as good as the young guys improve."