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Report: Derrick Rose says he is ready to start Game 1 next season

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Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose dribbles the ball before game two of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. (Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports)

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose dribbles the ball before game two of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat. He changed into a suit and tie for the game, however. (Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports)

In your regularly-scheduled breathless Derrick Rose update, the Chicago Bulls star told reporters that he feels great and he will be ready to go come Game 1 of the 2013-14 season. He is currently on an adidas European tour, and spoke while balling in Madrid, Spain.

Following the exhausting will-he-or-won’t-he-return saga of last season (when D-Rose was paid more than $16 million for exactly 0.0 minutes played), however, count us among those who still might be skeptical.

Apparently, coach Tom Thibobeau is still playing things cautiously as well. He spoke to the Chicago Tribune about getting everything started for next season.

“What the summer has done is it has given him more time to build confidence and strength in his leg,” Thibodeau said. “He looks great. He’s feeling as well as he has in a long, long time. His entire body is a lot stronger. He has put a lot of work into his shooting.”

Interestingly, as excited as Thibodeau sounds regarding the return of his best player, he is very quick to talk about how nice it is to have a capable backup in Kirk Hinrich.

“You can’t be out the amount of time that he has been without going through an adjustment period when he comes back,” Thibodeau said. “That will be normal. But from a physical and mental standpoint he’s terrific. We feel good that we have Kirk (Hinrich) backing him up. That’s a big plus.

“We’re going to see what he can handle first. We’re not anticipating big limitations on him. But the preseason, that’s what that is there for. We’ll see how those minutes unfold. Then we’ll get started in the regular season. He’ll be fine.”

Thibodeau plans to ease Rose into the season, using Hinrich to allow the Bulls’ star to properly reacquaint himself with the pace of live games.

Now, it just becomes a waiting game for Bulls fans.

[H/T: CBS Sports]

The return: Epic mashup of Star Trek and D-Rose highlights pumps us up for his return

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