Derrick Rose: “We’re willing to take on all the challengers”

April 6, 2011 – 9:10 am by Chris Fedor

In the offseason, all the talk surrounded the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference. Then as the season tipped off, all the talk surrounded the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. Very few people were talking about the Chicago Bulls. Nonetheless as the regular season comes to a close, it’s Chicago and not Miami or Boston who sits atop the Eastern Conference standings. With the Celtics struggling since the Kendrick Perkins trade and the Heat dealing with a number of issues themselves, the Bulls have risen to the occasion.

Derrick Rose has taken his game to new heights this season and should be the MVP and Tom Thibodeau has brought a defensive mentality to the Windy City and should be the Coach of the Year. While Derrick Rose has still yet to win a playoff series in his career, one thing has become evident heading into the playoffs. As long as Derrick Rose is playing like an MVP, Chicago has a great chance to get out of the East with the title.

Derrick Rose joined ESPN Radio Chicago with Waddle and Silvy to talk about how he responds when the media calls him the MVP, how important it is to get the number one seed, what he needs to work on to improve his game, what one team could give the Bulls problems in the playoffs, and what he attributes his success to this season.

How do you respond when you hear the media describe you as the MVP?

“Oh, man. I try not to really think about it. I’m just trying to worry about the season. Of course, I will love it if I get it, but right now I’m just trying to finish strong.”

Ready for war against the Heat?

“It’s all confidence. It’s a lot of confidence just because my teammates and coaching staff have done a great job making sure that everyone stays focused. Right now, we’re doing it pretty good, man. We’re still not a 48 minute team, but we’re trying to get there.”

What’s the one area you want to get to work on?

“We will have to see. Right now it might be my post up game. Right now I don’t have one. Um, we’ll have to see this off-season.”

Have you taken defensive criticism personally?

“No. I don’t even listen to that because I know defensively, I’m alright. I’ve got my teammates behind me. We have each other. So, as long as we’re one of the top defensive teams in the league, I think we’ll be fine.”

Can you go from having not yet won a playoff series to hoisting the trophy?

“I think that we can. I’ve been on teams where they always say that we’re too young and inexperienced and we made it pretty far. Last two years I was in the league, we went to the playoffs when nobody thought we were going to make it. In college, we made it to the championship game when no one thought we’d make it so why can’t we win the Championship?”

Is there one team that maybe gives you trouble?

“No. We’re willing to take on all the challengers… We’re taking on anybody man. You can’t run from people. With any teams, you got to go through them.”

At the beginning you were ready for war, What are you ready for now?

“It’s going to be exactly that. war. Everybody’s going to know everybody’s plays and we’re just going to have to see who wants it more.”

What do you attribute all of this success too?

“It’s because of my teammates. I know I put the work in but there’s a lot of people that put the work in and be on teams that’s messed up. I’m fortunate to have a bunch of good guys around me that have confidence in me and trust in me. That’s the reason why I’m playing the way I’m playing.”

Listen to Derrick Rose on ESPN Chicago here

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