Bulls lock in Rose for the long-term

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By Adam Fluck | 12.21.2011

The story of the day was Derrick Rose and the Bulls agreeing to a five-year contract extension totaling a reported $94 million. But listening to Rose talk on Wednesday, money is the furthest thing on his mind.

“That’s the last thing I’ve been thinking about,” said Rose, who was joined by head coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Gar Forman at the Berto Center. “I just try to go out there and play. Work hard. If you work hard in the offseason, it’s going to show.”

“Not too many things excite me except winning and being around my family,” added Rose, as his mother, Brenda, and three brothers listened. His agent, B.J. Armstrong, was also in attendance.

So rather than discuss the financials of the deal, which will kick in next season, Rose talked about what matters to him the most—his family and winning an NBA championship.

“Wow,” said Rose initially. “I just want to thank God for blessing me with this incredible talent. I want to thank the Bulls for taking a chance on me and picking me. I’m happy that they did it. I would like to thank my teammates and coaching staff for pushing me and helping me out every day. I want to thank the city of Chicago for sticking behind me, through the good and the bad.”

Rose will be 29 years old when the new deal ends, and he was asked if he could ever imagine playing for another team.

“I don’t think so, unless they trade me or something,” Rose said with a smile.

General manager Gar Forman laughed and quickly interjected, “That ain’t happening.”

On a more serious note, Forman cited Rose’s makeup, character, drive, desire, work ethic and leadership in announcing the agreement.

“From Jerry Reinsdorf to everyone Derrick works with in the Bulls organization, we are so proud of everything he has accomplished and we’re just thrilled that we’ll be able to watch Derrick play in a Chicago Bulls uniform for many years to come as he and his teammates continue to grow and he leads us to what eventually we hope will be our ultimate goal of bringing an NBA championship back to Chicago,” said Forman.

Thibodeau echoed the sentiment, saying that Rose embodies all the characteristics that the Bulls look for in a championship player.

“The talent is the obvious part, but then you look at his will to win, his basketball IQ, unselfishness and humility, those are the things that you can build a championship-caliber team around,” said Thibodeau. “The way he works each and every day sets the tone for our team. His poise and confidence comes from his preparation.”

“Obviously we’re very excited to have him,” Thibodeau added. “I wish it was a 10-year contract.”

The way Rose spoke about his team and his city, he likely would not have objected.

“Coming from where I’m coming from, I can’t explain it,” said Rose of the new deal. “I really can’t explain it. I never would have thought in a million years that I would have signed a contract like this, especially coming from an area where I’m from. No one from Englewood has ever been in my position. Sometimes I think, ‘Why me?’”