Derrick Rose says he 'hasn't been thinking about' return date vs. Bulls

Derrick Rose has plenty on his plate over the next 24-48 hours with games in Detroit and against Houston. The Chicago Bulls are out East, busy in Boston after battering Brooklyn.

But nobody’s kidding anybody. Whatever else transpires before or after, this week is about Rose returning to Chicago with his new team, the New York Knicks, to face his old team, the Bulls. That comes Friday in a nationally televised game at the United Center (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET) that figures to be a cauldron of emotions for Rose, former teammates, new teammates, Bulls management and fans alike.

The prospect of Rose, the No. 1 pick in the 2008 Draft, 2011 NBA MVP and star-crossed franchise savior, returning in opponents’ colors to the scene of his greatest triumphs and most crushing disappointments cannot be kept conveniently in a box until Friday. Some of it spilled over to the Knicks’ shootaround at Detroit Tuesday, with Rose fielding questions on the Chicago game with the Pistons and Rockets still more pressing priorities

The heart wants what the heart wants, though, and so did Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Rose said there’s “no bad blood’’ between himself and the Bulls organization. But he warned Chicago fans they’ll see a different style of point guard Friday night at United Center.

Rose made his first comments about the nationally televised grudge match in the Windy City in which he and Joakim Noah are set to make their returns to Chicago’s west side. Rose is a Chicago native, played there eight seasons and won the MVP award in 2011

“I haven’t been thinking about it, man,’’ Rose, who was traded to the Knicks this offseason in a five-player deal, said Tuesday after the Knicks’ morning shootaround at The Palace. “Only when probably it’s game day, I’ll think about it. There’s no bad blood there either. I understand this is a business. They made a business decision. On my end, I just got to stay prepared.”

”My brother [Reggie] was telling me about it,’’ Rose said of [his uniform jersey] No. 1 remaining dormant in Chicago. “I don’t care, man. That 1 number is something in the past. That was a young, raw talent, reckless type player. The player you see now, I’m more mature. My IQ of the game has gotten higher. I don’t have to do the things I did in the past with the team I have right now. I’ll look crazy going out there shooting some of the shots I shot with the Bulls. There’s no need for that.’’

Sleep might be hard to come by on the eve of his Bulls’ homecoming.

“Friends and family are going to come,’’ Rose said. “They’re going to support. It’s just going to be a regular game for me. People are making it a big thing because of the trade and me being from there and being traded here. I can’t think that far down the line because we have this back-to-back.’

No, Rose won’t yet acknowledge the Bulls – with Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo – are flying high at 3-0 start after bludgeoning the Nets on Monday at Barclays Center.

“I haven’t paid them no mind – none,’’ Rose said. “I’m focused on what I have here. That stuff with Chicago is in the past.”