Derrick Rose will play his first regular season game in almost two years, and the NBA cut him no slack, marking his return with an opening night showdown against the reigning world champion Miami Heat.
Even with both teams holding a little dislike for one another, Heat star LeBron James says he’s happy to have Rose back, and thinks the NBA needs him according to ESPN.com’s Heat Index.
LeBron James says he will reach out to Derrick Rose to personally welcome him back following his yearlong layoff before the Miami Heat face the Chicago Bulls in Tuesday’s regular-season opener.
Asked about the prospects of facing Rose, James said after Sunday’s practice that it won’t be difficult to set aside his competitive nature to take a moment and appreciate how the Bulls’ star guard has handled his recovery from 2012 knee surgery that forced him to miss all of last season.
“I’m happy and thrilled that he’s back,” James said as the Heat prepared to open defense of their second straight NBA championship. “I’m happy with what he did last year, to be able to stand strong throughout everything, throughout all of the adversity of everybody criticizing him about what he should do. He did what was best for him.”
Say what you want, but Rose has been gone a long time, and it will be good to talk about him crushing point guards again, instead of he countless questions and jokes about Rose’s return.