Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago that Derrick Rose has his speed and explosiveness back, adding that the former NBA MVP feels like himself again.
"Watching the way he's moving now, there's a confidence," Thibodeau said. "[Reporters] may not have been able to see the total work he was putting in. But he was putting in an enormous amount of work each and every day. He just never got to the explosiveness he was comfortable with. I think he's there now. He feels great, and that's the most important thing."
There was ongoing talk of Rose’s return, and this continued into the playoffs as the Bulls pushed the Miami Heat. This led to criticism, both of the Bulls and Rose, but Thibodeau said his point guard was only being honest with the media.
"The kid was being totally honest," Thibodeau said. "At the end of the day, you have to respect that. He wanted to be out there very badly. But no one knew when he would be ready, including him. It was a smart decision to wait. If you're not quite sure, and you're going to err, err on the side of caution. That's what he did. And now he feels great."
It’s great that Thibodeau believes Rose is back to his former self, but it will remain to be determined if he truly is until he’s back on the court next regular season.