(MCT) MIAMI — Derrick Rose is surrounded here by love _ his family, including his infant son; his teammates and coaches; and an organization that refuses to pressure him to return from May 2012 knee surgery.
The Bulls' star spends his days working out, spending time with loved ones, listening to music and, at least on Sunday, watching the Bruce Willis movie "A Good Day to Die Hard." Twice.
Speaking Monday before the Bulls' Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Heat that the organization expects him to miss, Rose, as usual, remained the unfazed one as the hysteria surrounding his non-return continued to swirl.
"I haven't had any pressure from anyone _ not in the organization, not from my teammates," Rose said. "They know I'm putting everything I have on trying to come back as fast as possible. Just trying to be smart with the whole situation. Just taking my time."
Rose hasn't told the organization he is sitting out the entire season and said "he might have a chance" to play in this series. But nobody within the organization expects that, and Rose, since mid-February, has been clear in his conservatism.
That's why he shrugged when asked about TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr's comments that Rose "owes it to his teammates" to return "if he's ready."
"Everybody has their own opinion," Rose said. "His key words that he said were 'if I'm ready.' Right now, I'm not ready. I'm just trying to take my time and really, really be smart. It's definitely hard. But I know this will be over with pretty soon. I can't get down on myself for not playing."
This series will take Rose past the one-year anniversary of his surgery last May 12. Which means the questions will continue.
"I'm used to it," he said. "I can't get tired of it. I just know that people want to know where I'm at. I'm just trying to give them an answer."
Joakim Noah, for one, wishes the questions would stop.
"Everybody who hasn't been in that situation before should really shut up," Noah said. "I feel like it's so unfair to him and to this team. Everybody's just (criticizing) somebody who's given so much to this organization. It's crazy."