As Derrick Rose joined general manager Gar Forman and coach Tom Thibodeau in a Wednesday morning press conference at the Berto Center to announce his five-year, $94.8 million contract extension, the reigning NBA MVP reiterated one of the goals he hopes to accomplish during his career:
To be a Chicago Bull for life.
"I don't think so -- unless they trade me or something," Rose told reporters when asked if he could picture himself playing elsewhere in his career. "I would want to finish my career here, but we'll have to see."
Judging by the reactions from Forman and Thibodeau, it's a safe bet the Bulls will not deal the 23-year-old anytime soon. Rose's max deal does not contain any sort of early termination or player option and will keep the All-Star in a Bulls uniform through the 2016-17 season, according to Forman. In a league that has seen superstars such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and, most recently, Chris Paul switch teams, the Bulls are thankful to have a franchise player who has displayed supreme loyalty to the organization, which drafted him with the first overall pick in the 2008 draft.
"This is obviously a very, very special day, not only for Derrick and for the Bulls, but it's a special day for Chicago and Chicago sports fans all over," Forman said. "Obviously, Derrick is a very, very talented basketball player, but he's been so much more than that. Derrick's makeup, his character, his drive, his desire, his work ethic and his leadership -- not only on the floor, but in our community -- have meant so much. And probably the greatest asset about Derrick Rose is his loyalty. Derrick has been very committed to his teammates, to this organization and to his hometown of Chicago."
"I really can't think of anyone who's more deserving of this than Derrick Rose."
Although the extension was simply a formality, it felt like much more to plenty of Bulls fans. Rose, the homegrown product, knows that and rejected the idea of the deal affecting his personality.
"Money, I don’t think is going to change me," Rose said. "If anything, it would have changed me by now. ... Right now I’m able to get anything I want. I don’t spend much, I’m humble, take care of others. It has a lot to do with my mom. I’m talking to her all the time, my brothers all the time. They’re telling me to make sure I stay levelheaded, take care of other people."
When Rose was asked about the team's chances of winning a title during the upcoming season, he said: "For sure, knowing that we have a young group of guys that's willing to put in work just to win. I always say that we just need winners. We have one thing on our mind, and that's to win a championship."