Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose returned to the court Saturday night after missing the past 17 months while recovering from knee surgery, scoring 13 points in 20 minutes in an 82-76 victory against the Indiana Pacers in both teams’ preseason opener.
Rose, the 2010-11 league MVP, looked comfortable on the floor and happy to be back with his teammates as he displayed his trademark speed at various points throughout the game, including a breakaway dunk early in the third quarter.
“I’ve been preparing myself for this moment for a year and a half now,” Rose said after the game. “So just getting prepared for this and continue to go out there and know how blessed I am to be stepping back on the court again, especially with these guys that dedicated their whole summer to trying to make this team better. I’m fortunate to be on this team and blessed to be in this organization and playing for Thibs [coach Tom Thibodeau] and the coaching staff.”
The good news for the Bulls is that Rose showed no hesitation while going to the rim. He attacked the basket the same way he did before the injury and didn’t back down when Pacers center Roy Hibbert stood in front.