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John Calipari comes to defense of Derrick Rose

May 24, 2013, 6:39 PM EDT

Rose Calipari Memphis AP

First Jim Boeheim has Carmelo Anthony’s back, now it’s time for another coach to get a former star’s back.

Kentucky coach John Calipari was on the Adam “the Bull” & Dustin Fox show on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, and when asked about Derrick Rose and his injury — and the heat he took in Chicago for not playing this season, particularly in the playoffs, even after he was cleared by doctors — you knew he would come to his former player’s defense.

“An NBA player’s body, if he does anything to hurt his own body he’s wrecking his own career. You let them listen to their bodies.

“The second thing is, I’ve talked to Chicago Bulls management, I know all those guys… and you know what? They’re fine. They didn’t want him to go back. As a matter of fact, they wanted to announce he wasn’t coming back, but Derrick didn’t want to do it because he thought if there is any chance for me to come back…

“But let me ask you this: At the end of the day after they got going, and they were going to play Miami in the second (round), what good would it have done other than he could have got hurt? Tell me what good it could have done?

“So all this stuff, is all fine, all I can tell you is he’s a great kid, the Bulls supported him. I support him because I’m not gonna (say), ‘Yea, head out there, why doesn’t he come back this is crazy the doctor cleared him, okay now he got hurt.’ How do you feel now?…

“Knowing him the way he is, knowing he is a great kid and somebody who probably in the worst way wanted to play, but just was so tentative he wasn’t right. He didn’t trust it yet and you gotta respect that.”

I’ll only add what I have said all along on this — Rose’s only mistake was not letting the Bulls do what they wanted and late in the season just saying he was done for the year. Keeping the door open then working out right before the games just looked bad.

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