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Derrick Rose on rivalry between Bulls and Pacers: ‘I don’t really see it’

Oct 19, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Derrick Rose AP

As we’ve discussed before in the recent case of the budding rivalry between the Nets and the Knicks, whether or not a rivalry exists is often times in the eye of the beholder. Where one team may view another as a rival, that team may not exactly see things the same way.

A rivalry would seem to be in the making between the Bulls and the Pacers, given the strength of each team heading into the season, their similar position in the Central division, and the relative close proximity (less than 200 miles) between the teams’ respective arenas.

But Derrick Rose doesn’t feel that way just yet, citing the turnover on the Pacers’ roster over the past few seasons as one of the primary reasons he’s just not seeing it.

From Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:

“People say that it’s a rivalry, but I don’t really see it,” Rose said before scoring 32 points in the team’s 103-98 win against the Pacers. “I say the team that is more like a rivalry is when Darren Collison was on the team. That one was more like a rivalry, but this team is a great team. They’ve already proven themselves last year by making it to the Eastern Conference finals.

“If anything, by probably in a year or two, it could become a rival. But right now, people say it’s a rival. … I just don’t see it right now.”

Collison had his best year as a pro in 2011, the last time the Bulls faced the Pacers in a playoff series. Rose may have viewed that as a personal rivalry, considering Collison plays the same point guard position.

That 2011 series also featured three different starters in Indiana’s lineup than they trotted out in the playoffs last season. Danny Granger, Tyler Hansbrough, and Collison were upgraded to David West, George Hill, and Lance Stephenson. The Bulls, with Rose healthy, would return four of the five starters (minus Keith Bogans) from that season.

On the Pacers side, they absolutely view the Bulls as a rival, as is usually the case with the less accomplished of the two teams — like with the Clippers and the Lakers, and the Nets and the Knicks.

  1. footballgod87 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Less accomplished? The past two years the Pacers have won a playoff series and went to the Conference Finals. what have the Bulls done in that time?

    • basketballgod87 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      so you’re wrong

  2. rodge1 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    What have the Knicks accomplished?

  3. basketballgod87 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    the bulls had injury the last two years and to be a rival you have to play each other in the postseason year in and year out not just one time

  4. casualcommenter - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Rivalries aren’t just based on proximity, and divisions are near meaningless in the NBA.

    For Bulls-Pacers to be a real rivalry, they really need to have several hardfought playoff series between the two teams because those series are when teams really get to dislike each other. Think Bulls-Pistons of the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, where the Bad Boy Pistons created the “Jordan Rules” that battered Jordan. Heck, Bird’s Celtics v. Magic’s Lakers were a great rivalry due to their battles in the Finals despite being on opposite coasts and opposite conferences.

  5. casualcommenter - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I’d say the Bulls and Pacers have a bigger rivalry with the Miami Heat than with each other.
    The Bulls and Pacers have faced each other in the playoffs just once recently, back in 2011. Meanwhile, the Heat has faced each of those teams twice from 2011 to 2013, including 1 series against each team in the Eastern Conference Finals.

    That means the Miami Heat were the one team that has stopped each from making the NBA Finals. While the Heat have gone 2-0 against both teams in the playoffs, each time those teams have faced the Heat, those teams have given the Heat issues with their defense.

    And Miami is nowhere near Indiana or Chicago geographically.

    • roachyxxx - Oct 20, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      The Bulls-Heat rivalry is the biggest in basketball imo, The Bulls-Pacers rivalry is a close second. Both preseason games had the feel of a playoff game, and the last one really blew my mind because both coaches kept their starters in till the end. Wanting to play it safe with D. Rose got trumped by making a statement to the Pacers before the regular season even started. Thibs is a true disciple of Vince Lombardi.

  6. basketballgod87 - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    chicago better than miami

  7. basketballgod87 - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    i mean indiana

  8. nflcinbengals - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    I agree, much more of a rivalry 3 years ago. Especially when Chicago had the bench mob!
    #6rings

  9. provguard - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    I think the Rose and the Bulls are out of their minds if they think they are even close to the Pacers. Rivalry?? You are kidding right???

    • basketballgod87 - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      they are better than the pacers.

    • kb2408 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      No, I kinda think you’re out of your mind if you don’t think the Bulls aren’t every bit as good as any team in the NBA. They have a former MVP who’s hungry to reclaim his crown, arguably the best coach in the league and they play D better than any team in the league.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        Rose just held the title of interim-MVP. He never held the throne – and if he ever did he was quickly dethroned in the 2011 ECF.

      • kb2408 - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:48 PM

        So, I’m assuming you’re saying LeBron sits on the MVP throne, huh? Great…4 MVPS and 2 titles (one with an* for a shortened season, and the other was a gift compliments of Jesus Shuttlesworth and the Spurs imploding).

    • bearshaterseverywhere - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      Out of their minds!? The Bulls clearly dominate the clear rivalry since Jordan and Miller. The Pacers will be dominated again this season. To say there is no rivalry shows how little you know about the Bulls and their division. D Rose is the best PG in the NBA, PERIOD!

  10. cfos00 - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Bulls players seem to see the Heat as their rivals, and as a fan I know I see them as the biggest current rival. They know that they’ll see each other in the playoffs, each have of one the top five players in the league, they’ve had extremely physical series, they each have gone after the other team’s best player physically, and they each have players that seem to get under the other teams’ skin (birdman and noah—players you love on your team and are absolutely despised by everyone else). They also seem to see each other as the biggest obstacle to getting into the finals. And it’s brought out some great basketball for both teams. The Pacers just don’t have that recent history with the Bulls, nor do they the kings of the mountain right now. Not an insult, just saying.

  11. nflcinbengals - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Exactly kb2408!

  12. antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    This is part of the new, less humble, more arrogant Rose that publicly says 1) he’s the best player in the league and 2) that his only competition is Miami and not a team like the Pacers (who happens to give Miami more problems than Chicago ever has or will).

    You’d think his injury would’ve humbled him, but it seems to have had the opposite effect.

    • kb2408 - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      What you call arrogance I call confidence. D.Rose is one of the most humble, unassuming players in the league.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:49 PM

        It’s obviously confidence, but arrogance and confidence aren’t always two separate things. In this case they’re sharing some of the same space inside Rose’s head.

        He said he’s the best player in the league. That’s fine. He knows that everybody else would disagree, but that’s fine. Now is that arrogance? Has to be. If the definition of arrogance is “exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities” and he knows that 100/100 people would consider LeBron is the best player in the league by a large margin, but he says he’s the best player anyway – that can only be arrogance. There’s no better adjective for that. Certainly confidence is involved. But it is undoubtedly arrogant as well.

        He said he’s going to win multiple championships. Now, championship declarations are a sensitive subject coming from someone who has never been to the finals, but the public barely even noticed – so apparently that’s fine too. But that’s also arrogant, especially considering his experience level.

        Unassuming? Sure. Humble? Give me a break. You cannot be humble and call yourself the best player in the league – it’s impossible, even if it’s true. A humble person will always have a low estimate of their own importance.

    • roachyxxx - Oct 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      I agree. Of course, his physical skills are better now than before he was injured. He was fast before, but now he is disgustingly, pee in your pants fast. If you played MJ’s drives to the hoop in fast motion that’s what D. Rose looks like in real time. Face it, antisfordian, D. Rose is the best in the NBA at using his speed, and nobody on your Heat team even comes close. Show some respect, loser.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        A little sensitive today, roachy? I like Derrick Rose as much as the next guy, but he’s not anywhere close to being the best player in the league. It’s okay for him to think that though – I’d probably think that of myself too if I were him, but I probably wouldn’t reveal it the way he did.

        And I’d say LeBron is the best at using his speed – but some would say Westbrook, or Rose, or whoever else and that’s fine.

        The good thing about the SportsVU cameras being installed this year is that we will get to answers these questions definitively! You can say “Rose is the best at using his speed” but you can’t actually prove that right now. We will be able to prove it soon.

        What we do know from the SportsVU tests is that no one moved faster on defense than LeBron James.

        “James can mimic DeRozan’s hyperactive ghost in a way no other player can, Rucker says. ‘LeBron basically messes up the system and the ghosts,’ Alex Rucker (the Raptors’ director of analytics) says. ‘He does things that are just unsustainable for most players.'”

        -Zach Lowe, Grantland

      • roachyxxx - Oct 27, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        LeBron is the best overall player I’ve ever seen in basketball. I used to think he was a jerk, and I don’t even think that any more. What I continue to think is that he isn’t as mentally tough as the best players ever, particularly–obviously–Jordan. My favorite times watching him play are when the Bulls make him lose his cool, which happens more often than it should, which would be never. To his credit, though, it doesn’t take him out of the game. Maybe he’ll make it to six rings. Hell if he makes it to five I’m all for it. I don’t think they have the coach and I don’t think they have the players to make that happen, but I could be wrong.

  13. bearshaterseverywhere - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan was HuGe division rivalry throughout the 90’s.
    D Rose is the best point guard in the NBA. BOOM!

  14. rodyaugu - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    That’s the team he should watch out for, that team has the perfect scheme and personnel to make life difficult for a player that has the tendency to attack the paint. To me that’s the team the bulls will have to beat to face the heat in the ECF.

  15. philaw123 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    They may not even face each other in the playoffs this year. Top 5 teams are loaded and well coached (Jason Kidd does have Lawrence Frank as an assistant). While they may have intense regular season matchups, the truly great rivalries are borne from memorable playoff clashes.

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