After the butt kicking the Bulls gave the Pacers last Friday night, Rose was asked about the rivalry between the two central division teams by everyone’s favorite Bulls insider, Nick Friedell. Here’s what Rose had to say:
“People say that it’s a rivalry, but I don’t really see it. 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.”
This harmless preseason comment caused quite the uproar in Indianapolis. The insecure Pacers and their underperforming point guard, George Hill, took offense.
“I don’t know how [Rose] can say we’re not rivals yet because we’ve been just as successful as they have been. But all I know right now is we’re the Central Division champions and for them, they have to come through us to get that. But if that’s what he believes, then that’s what he believes.” Hill said.
Hey, if the Pacers need to manufacture “chalk board material” like a bunch of highschoolers in order to play harder, then so be it. But with a career average of 11 points and 3 assist versus the Bulls, maybe that is exactly what George Hill needs to do.
As far as the whole “we’re the Central Division champions” thing, we all know how that came to be. And although this will undoubtedly be a great regular season matchup, I believe Rose and his stampede of Bulls will run right through the Pacers.
Besides, NBA fans know that in the eyes of Derrick Rose and the Bulls there is only one major threat: LeBron James and his Miami Heat sidekicks.