“We, as a team, let Derrick know today that we don’t want to risk our health by playing until we are feeling 110-percent,” said center Joakim Noah. “I personally only feel about 99-percent due to camp and the preseason schedule. I can’t speak for the other guys, but I have no timetable for when I’ll be ready.”
Rose’s teammates insist that their decision to not take the court with Rose is in any way revenge for last season when Rose refused to suit up following his ACL rehab despite having medical clearance and playing in practice.
“That’s not at all why I’m doing it,” said power forward Carlos Boozer. “In fact, it’s in honor of Derrick and what he taught us all last year and that’s if you don’t feel 110-percent, there is zero reason to try to play and compete for a championship. In fact, looking back, I regret playing last year in the playoffs because I was probably only 85 or 86-percent due to various bumps and bruises. I was such an idiot.”
Head coach Tom Thibodeau says he hopes his team will still be able to win with just Rose on the court for the time being.
“Well, Derrick said he was close to 110-percent last spring and we’ve all heard him talking about how much better he is now,” said Thibodeau. “If he’s up towards 500-percent, that’s as good as five players on the court. I’m excited.”
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