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Derrick Rose was aggressive in pursuit of free agent Pau Gasol. Recruiting Carmelo Anthony? Not so much.

Jul 31, 2014, 9:04 PM EDT

There’s a weird tension building between Derrick Rose and the Bulls front office, and it’s obviously (at least partially) related to his injury history when compared to his contract.

With Rose being injured and unavailable for the majority of the last three seasons (playing just 49 games in total), the least he could be doing in the eyes of the franchise would be to help lure free agents to sign in Chicago in order to bolster the roster.

But Rose has been historically reluctant to engage in that activity, and that was apparently a sore spot in the Carmelo Anthony meetings this summer — especially when considering that Rose was much more aggressive in getting involved with trying to recruit free agent Pau Gasol.

From Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Multiple sources in the organization say tension was mounting because Rose allowed his own camp to take shots at the franchise. Gradually, there seemed to be less communication between the Bulls and their biggest star. And tensions hit a peak when Rose, who has a five-year, $94.8 million contract, seemed to blatantly resist helping build the roster in a new NBA where stars increasingly double as recruiters. …

Looking back, it’s clear Rose wasn’t all that interested in teaming with Anthony, who chose to return to the New York Knicks. Rose was much more aggressive in the Bulls’ pursuit of free agent Pau Gasol, not only asking for the veteran’s phone number, but giving a hard sell to the big man on joining the Bulls.

So why Gasol and not Anthony?

“That’s someone that I knew I could play with,’’ Rose said of Gasol. “You think about Pau, him now being in the East, what he’ll be able to achieve with the way we play, the way we dump the ball in the post a lot. It could be great.’’

There’s more in that piece about the particulars of Rose’s involvement (or lack thereof) with Anthony’s free agent visit to Chicago, and the tensions that may exist between Rose’s “camp” and the front office.

But once Rose returns to action, all of this will be in the rearview mirror. Neither Rose nor the Bulls are going to be in the best of spirits while he’s sidelined due to injury, and that’s the only time when this off-court stuff will creep into the headlines and onto the surface.

Rose is there to help the Bulls win games, pure and simple. All indications are that he’s ready to do that once next season begins, and as soon as that happens again, the dissection of what he did or did not do during the offseason will immediately cease to exist.

  1. antistratfordian - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    I don’t think Rose wanted another star on the perimeter – which is why he was more into acquiring players like Love and Gasol. Rose would’ve probably treated LeBron and Durant the same way – can’t have those guys coming over and stealing his shine. Rose will probably be singing a different tune when he’s older and still ringless.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      About playing and taking shots on the perimeter…

      If D Rose didn’t want another perimeter player, he’d WANT Melo and NOT Love.

      This past season, K Love attempted 6.6 three pt shots a game to Melo’s 5.4 three pt attempts.

      Want MORE than just this last season? OK

      For Love’s CAREER, he’s averaged 3.7 three pt attempts per game.

      Melo has averaged 3.1 three pt attempts in his career per game.

      Even AFTER the two BEST seasons in Melo’s career the past two seasons, Love still has a higher career 3 pt percentage than Melo does.

      Oh, while Love is outside and shooting more threes last season and for all games in his career that Melo, Love MORE than DOUBLES Melo in rebounds per 36 min’s and per game for their careers too.

      Interesting how many boards Love can get while being outside and taking MORE outside shots than Melo isn’t it?

      • antistratfordian - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:08 PM

        No no no… I’m not talking about three point shots. Those are fine. I’m talking about operating from the perimeter like a guard or small forward does traditionally. Rose wants that to be his realm, but if Melo was there all of a sudden Rose would be the 2nd best perimeter player on the team, and he can’t have that.

    • justorion - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      I didn’t want melo coming to the bulls, I don’t think he’ll ever win a ring and I didn’t want him to help poison the Bulls from future championship games. I thing a healthy Gasol is a much better player for the bulls current roster than Melo.

      • jerze2387 - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:52 PM

        I agree. From a personality standpoint, Gasol fits better. hes more of a team player and wont mind playing his role.

        that being said, I think Rose is also wrong for this team. hes a selfish player and doesnt seem to try to mesh with the guys. Look how well they still played with guys like Augustin and Robinson at PG. plus Rose, from what ive seen, tends to be a bit of a ball hog too. hes selfish like melo, and thats not the makeup of the team. So having 1 of those guys is 1 too many, much less 2

      • antistratfordian - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:07 AM

        Poison the Bulls? If Melo went to Chicago he’d be the best player the team had since MJ.

        Gasol is still quality, but he’s not quite the guy he used to be, and he’s going to frustrate the fan base at times. You know, he’s soft sometimes – he gets pushed around by smaller guys – he’s a little slow footed – sometimes he gets frustrated, grumpy and disappears – etc. But, for the life of me, I don’t know why anyone would say, “I’d rather have Pau Gasol over Carmelo Anthony” in 2014.

    • muhangis - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:54 AM

      It seems that now nobody likes Carmelo Anthony… it’s the truth. Big talent, little likeability as a teammate.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:10 AM

        I think LeBron would like Melo as a teammate. Same with CP3.

      • muhangis - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:22 AM

        anti, LBJ and Anthony play the same exact position.

  2. propjoe718 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:27 PM


  3. ripdipbob - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    Went to the bank today and to my surprise every guy there had D Rose official game uniform on….SUITS!!! D Rose doesn’t play basketball!!! Dude is such a diva

  4. sportsfan18 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    I said on this site several times that D Rose wanted Love and not Melo.

    I spoke of how D Rose worked out during the summer with Westrook and Love (former UCLA teammates) with a trainer in the summer.

    I’m a long time Bulls fan and it was easy to see that D Rose didn’t want the inefficient Melo compared to the more efficient Love.

    Age plays into this as well as Love is 4 yrs younger give or take than Melo.

    I’m the person that spoke of D Rose falling in his workout when Melo came and setting the hoop at 8 feet so when D Rose threw down it looked good when articles were on this site about Melo visiting the Bulls on his it’s all about me tour even though I’m taking the money.

    For those who follow the Bulls, this isn’t a surprise.

    • blueintown - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      No one cares who you are.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:59 PM

        oh i KNOW that on here

        was just trying to remind folks that I said this before this story came out and offered a little reminder is all so ya’ll didn’t think I said I called this without proof.

        blueintown, no one cares about me on here, or your or anyone else.

        it isn’t US but what we SAY.

        most here offer no proof or facts.

        i was just trying to include a reminder that some on here would remember so they knew I wasn’t full of it saying it now that this wasn’t a surprise to find out that D Rose didn’t want Melo.

        For fans of D Rose and the Bulls, this is NOT a surprise

        THAT is what it’s about, NOT who I am.

        sorry you couldn’t figure that out on my last post.

      • blueintown - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:02 PM

        Cool man. But no one cares who you are.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        i never have pretended they did

        I didn’t pretend they did this time

        and I never will pretend folks care in the future

        come on… dad’s don’t care about their kids, don’t see them, don’t pay for them, husbands hit their wives, folks gamble away their rent and mortgage money, steal from their families to get money for drugs…

        folks dont care about their own flesh and blood man

        I certainly don’t think ya’ll care about me when conditions like these are all over (sadly)

    • cruzan80 - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:37 AM


      You also said on this site several times that LeBron will never go back to Cleveland because of Gilberts letter…..

  5. chiadam - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    …and way to break a sweat guesstimating how much older Anthony is than Love. The gap is almost five years, Dr, Basketball. Google. Took two seconds.

  6. tampajoey - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Rose didn’t want Melo to take over his team after he gets hurt a month into the season.

    • jerze2387 - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:55 PM

      A mnonth is generous. He’ll be out with fractured heart and integrity after about a weel

  7. doctordunkenstein - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    Wait…Derrick actually talked?

    • jerze2387 - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      probably through Reggie Rose. Like a Jeff Dunham type thing.

  8. polkhigh4life - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    And you people who believe these stories are the reason why they keep printing them…. The gods at sports talk, they now
    Know what goes on in the inner circle….they can’t tell you when or who is trading for who (only after they guess 15 times) but now after a week of Rose back practicing in the national spotlight, it’s quiet and they have nothing to write about….so now with half the bulls management, front office In Vegas….there’s problems….ahahahah….keep supporting these idiots

  9. csbanter - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Derrick Rose need to grow up. Injuries aside he hasn’t taken a leadership role on this team. This despite being the Bulls franchise player.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      Noah is the real heart and soul of that team, he’s their real leader.

      • jerze2387 - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:56 PM

        Both of you guys are spot on right.

  10. campcouch - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Or it’s possible Rose doesn’t want somebody taking over his team like Wade did. He’s probably thiought about how lazy Melo must be to not put in work on his own team, but to slide in on a ready made squad. Rose’s injuries weren’t the result of him being soft or weak, he got hurt playing all out and has had to work for 2 years to get back. I don’t think he wants any dude coming in to steal his spotlight after the fact.

  11. acdc363 - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Yuck. If I’m a Bulls fan I want my star player recruiting anyone he possibly can. We’re not talking about signing Melo to a $129 million contract here we’re talking about convincing take a discount and help make a title contender. Rose should have sold that to Melo like his life depended on it. It just leaves a sour feeling when I think about my franchise player refusing to recruit the second best free agent available.

    • muhangis - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:59 AM

      It’s the fact that nobody likes Carmelo. He has a history of being a horrible teammate!

      • cruzan80 - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:08 AM



        You mind pointing out where or when exactly has it ever been an actual example of one of Melo’s current or former teammates at least implying that he’s a “horrible teammate” genius….???

      • muhangis - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:24 AM

        Do I have to explain to you that Carmelo is selfish? And most importantly, from George Karl…. Karl in his own words had some very unflattering comments on Carmelo. Saying that he was not enough of a leader in Denver, and he always whined and complained on road trips, as he said something to the effect that “he was our leader in whining.” a recent ESPN interview.

      • cruzan80 - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        @ muhangis


        George Karl????

        Your response is even dumber than your initial post. You talk about Melo being a “horrible teammate” yet you bring up what his former COACH said about him. A coach who by the way is known for ripping his former players. Karl has been fired everywhere he’s coached & always blames his former players for his shortcomings’ as a coach.

        Karl on Allen Iverson:
        “There are less bad plays, more solid plays,” Karl said of the former 76er, who was traded earlier this month. “I think the wasteful, cheap possessions that we used to have 10 to 15 a game, they don’t exist very much anymore.”
        He then followed that gem by calling Igudala the “mole” once his team got eliminated by the Warriors.

        THIS is the person you want to use as an example to support you comment????

        Just like I thought, you have NOTHING to reference where a TEAMMATE considered Melo a “horrible teammate”. It’s just YOUR opinion. What we do have is PROOF of Melo being liked very much by his TEAMMATES.

        Kenyon Martin, after playing with the Clippers CHOOSED to play with Melo AGAIN in NY.

        JR Smith CHOOSED to play with Melo AGAIN in NY.

        Marcus Camby CHOOSED to play with Melo AGAIN in NY.

        Jason Kidd CHOOSED to play with Melo in NY.

        “He has a history of being a horrible teammate”
        If you can’t back up an erroneous comment like that with some actual facts why even bother to post it????

        That is the act of a straight up HATER.

      • calkinsrob - Aug 4, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        I cant believe i just read ‘choosed’ that many times in one post.

    • chicitybulls - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:20 AM

      Well Howard recruited Melo. How’d that work out?

  12. casualcommenter - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Rose reportedly did talk to Carmelo multiple times about joining forces.

    While it’s possible that he could have done more, frankly, I don’t think Rose sending Carmelo a few more texts would have convinced Carmelo to sacrifice over $30 million guaranteed.

    As a player, you’re either willing to leave tens of millions of dollars on the table to join an immediate contender, or you’re not. An extra phone call or two from Derrick Rose wouldn’t have made much of a difference – Carmelo liked Phil Jackson, liked New York City, and liked the extra $30+ million.

    • cfos00 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:09 AM

      Exactly. And there are very, very few examples of that ever happening. While the Big 3 in Miami took a haircut, it was nowhere remotely near what Melo would have had to take. Everyone knew that, Rose included. Maybe he just didn’t want to waste time going after a guy that he knew was never going to come, and go after someone who the Bulls legitimately could get and was having other smart teams pursue him. Melo wasn’t leaving $30 on the table, and I don’t think very many people in his shoes would either. I have no problem with this if it’s what happened.

      • harshedmellow - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:30 AM

        It was more than 30 mil. Way more. He did 5/125 with the Knicks; if memory serves, the Bulls were around 4/70.

        I hope Rose can get his career back. Guy was something else his MVP year. I hate seeing elite athletes hurt young…. not a Bulls fan per se but still rooting for Rosé to get his mojo back and string together some seasons…

      • chicitybulls - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        Careful casual and cfos, you’re being reasonable and not attacking Rose. That doesn’t play here. You have to go in on a guy who’s only issue was….wait for it….he got hurt.

  13. harshedmellow - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:32 AM


    Really, iPhone? REALLY?!

  14. nflcinbengals - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:06 AM

    D. Rose MVP: 1
    Melo MVP: 0

    Best since MJ huh? funny guy smh

    • cruzan80 - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:16 AM


      He’s right.

      Durant win MVP last season….he wasn’t the best player in the league…Lebron was.

      The MVP award is pretty much a popularity contest for the AP. Everyone hated LBJ that year, Rose was the best player on the team with the beat regular season record & a media darling…James was still the best player that year.

  15. lenbias34pt - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Melo has played with very talented NBA teams. Check some of the rosters the Nuggets had over the years and does anyone think the Knicks have less talent than any of a # of East teams that made the playoffs?

    Mello is perhaps the best scorer in the NBA, among the greatest in NBA history, but his play does not equate to team wins.
    Is it his inconsistent effort?
    His dominating the ball?
    His inconsistent D?
    His attitude?
    A mixture of all of the above?

    Somewhat obviously none of us truly know, but what we do know is that in 11 NBA seasons Mello has had 1 serious playoff run…….and that Team had JR Smith, Nene, Kenyon Martin, Chris Anderson and Chauncey Billups all in their prime.
    I’m not even sure if the current Bulls team WITH Mello is as talented as that team.

    The smart move is Gasol over Mello, and it is not close. If Rose didn’t recruit Mello it is because he wants to win and not watch Mello score and blame everyone else for the losses.

    • bishopbengals - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      Kenyon Martin and JR Smith in their prime? lol JR just had his career year with the Knicks two years ago, he was never near that type of player with the Nuggets. Kenyon Martin hasn’t been in his prime since he was with the Nets. That’s just laughable.

    • cruzan80 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      @ lenbias34

      You said the “smart move is Gasol over Mello, and it is not close. If Rose didn’t recruit Mello it is because he wants to win and not watch Mello score and blame everyone else for the losses.”

      Really??? Remind of something….before Pau Gasol joined Kobe Bryant, & the Lakers…exactly how many playoff games did Gasol win again……? Hindsight makes everyone a genius.

      “Mello is perhaps the best scorer in the NBA, among the greatest in NBA history, but his play does not equate to team wins.”

      Really??? He carried his teams to the playoffs every single year in the always deep Western Conference. They won 43, 49, 44, 45, 50, 54 & 53 games in each of those seasons. Kevin Love, who the Bulls were willing to gut their team to acquire has yet to sniff a playoff game 6 years in the league now…we like Kevin Love though so it’s OK.

      “Mello has had 1 serious playoff run…….and that Team had JR Smith, Nene, Kenyon Martin, Chris Anderson and Chauncey Billups all in their prime.”

      JR was 23 years old…not in his prime….not even close. K-Mart left his prime & health in New Jersey. Billups (then 32 years old) was well past his prime as evident in the fact that he literally had only TWO more good season after that 09 team that went to the WCF. I’ll give you Nene (good not great player) & Anderson (a role player) as the two guys who were in their “prime” while Melo was with the Nuggets. Those Nugget teams however were never good enough to contend for the championship in any year other than the 08-09 team….unless you’re going to ignore the FACT they were always plagued by injuries.

      During Melo’s tenure Nene (their 2nd best player) missed 204 games over 7 years. He missed all but 16 games in the 07-08 season. Marcus Camby missed 120 games in 6 years. Kenyon Martin missed 145 games in 6 years, he too missed all but 2 games in the 06-07 season.

      Meanwhile, Melo missed 60 games in 7 years as a Nugget.

      In the 2009 season. Nene played & started in 76 games, Martin 66, Billups 77…the season ended in the WCF….shocker.

      Your comment is contradicting, lacks objectivity & sounds like typical Melo hating in disguise. KG got out of the 1st round ONCE in 12 years. Funny how things changed once he joined Paul Pierce & Ray Allen huh? Or are you willing to say Pau is better “winner” than KG because Pau has 2 rings to KG’s 1…I doubt it.

      Good TEAMS make the playoffs. Great TEAMS advance deep in the playoffs. Great TEAMS win championships with MULTIPLE great players…not just one. It’s simple as that….always has been.

  16. malek773 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    This post is just the media stirring up garbage. Rose spoke with Anthony, told he him he wanted him on the team. Told him they had all the pieces. What else should he have done? Dropped to his knees and begged. He probably took Pau’s number and called him because Pau didn’t come to the UC and get the full treatment like Melo. So he just reached out on the phone since he didn’t run into him in person.

    Everything else about who Rose prefers to play with is garbage. Rose, like any NBA player, would want to play with anybod that would make their team better. The reason Rose gets so much hate is because Free Agents choose to go elsewhere. Happened in 2010 and it happened this year. Thats not Rose’s fault. Everyone knows Melo didn’t sign with Chicago because he got an extra year and over 30 million dollars more. So if people want to blame someone for Melo not signing with the Bulls blame the front office. Last I remember its their job to sign free agents.

  17. nflcinbengals - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Ok cruz I follow you, but D. Rose is arguably the MOST explosive PG in league history when healthy. and he has gotten further with less talent than Melo who has had with more. anti just doesn’t like Rose.

  18. caeser12 - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Remember when Bulls fans thought they had a real shot at getting Anthony (which they did) and were all about him coming to Chicago? Yea, they don’t either, because now all of a sudden they all have selective amnesia, good thing this site lets you go back and see their post.

  19. eugenesaxe1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Perhaps Rose just knew who would be a better investment.

  20. bigbamboom1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    The Bulls need a healthy Derrick Rose. The New York Knicks need a fully committed Carmelo Anthony. Both teams got what they wanted. Both stars have the situation they wanted. Both are highly talented alphas. Who need the right complementary pieces with them. Including 1-2 perimeter shooters. The Bulls sorely missed Kyle Korver. The knicks sorely missed Novak. The Bulls fixed their perimeter problem in the draft. The knicks need to re-sign Novak or woo Ray Allen. And the knicks need to bite the bullet like the Bulls did with Carlos Boozer. And amnesty Amare Stoudemire. Bottom line-Both guys are in the right situations. And made the correct decision about playing with each other and complementing one another. Nothing wrong with that IMO.

    • caeser12 - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      The Knicks used their amnesty provision on Chauncey Billups, who had one year left on his contract instead of Stat, so no.

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