Derrick Rose likes to attract attention about as much as he likes committing turnovers, so a seersucker suit and bow tie definitely weren't part of his equation Thursday night.
Nevertheless, Rose is all dressed up with somewhere to go after the Bulls used the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft on the speedy, sturdy point guard who grew up in the Englewood neighborhood on the city's Southwest Side.
Unlike Joakim Noah's brash and outlandish outfit last year when he was the Bulls' first-round pick, Rose blended in with a classic gray suit, blue shirt and tie. However, in becoming the Bulls' first No. 1 overall pick since Elton Brand in 1999, Rose won't be blending in much anymore.
Fans merely will want Rose eventually to block out any distractions inherent in playing in his hometown and become the dominant floor leader the Bulls have lacked for years.
"Of course it's going to be pressure," Rose said via conference call from New York. "But I'm used to playing in Chicago, so I don't think that will matter.
"It means a lot to play at home. They had great players like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, all of them, B.J. Armstrong. Just knowing I can be a part of that history, it's amazing. Playing there for the Bulls, I just can't wait."
Rose will be introduced at an 11 a.m. news conference at the United Center and surely will elicit raucous cheers when he throws out the first pitch at Friday's Cubs-White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field.
In the second round, the Bulls picked Sonny Weems, a 6-6 guard from Arkansas, who was expected to have his rights traded.
The Bulls selected Rose over Kansas State power forward Michael Beasley, a player they liked so much that sources confirmed they made trade overtures to the Heat for the second overall selection. Those were rebuffed, and the Bulls focused on Rose.
"For us right now [Rose is] a perfect fit," general manager John Paxson said. "He's a very, very talented young man. In this league, point guards are really hard to find. He has a strength about him at that position that most guards don't have in this league. Great burst, very fast with the ball.
"I think he'll make other players better. And he'll give us some leadership abilities as we go on, which we really need."
Despite Paxson's call for patience, expectations will be high for the local kid who led Simeon to back-to-back state championships and Memphis to a runner-up finish in the NCAA tournament during his one season of college play.
"It will be a dream come true playing in my hometown so I can get to see my family and friends," Rose said.
"[I plan to bring] some more leadership because, of course, I have to lead the team. Stay focused and hopefully just get a couple more wins."
Victories have defined Paxson's draft history as Rose joins Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Chris Duhon, Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah as players who have participated in NCAA Final Fours.
Until contract situations are resolved for restricted free agents Gordon and Deng, Paxson has claimed no trades are imminent. Nevertheless, Rose's arrival adds another guard to an already crowded backcourt.
"I know everybody says we have a glut of guards, but we also have some issues with some contracts coming up," Paxson said. "Derrick's not a guy we're going to say, 'Come in right away [and start]. He'll earn that given the chance. But we're not going to throw him in this thing and say you have to do everything right now."
Rose will sign a contract worth a guaranteed $10,007,280 for two seasons and a team option at $5,546,160 for a third. Such numbers, along with the No. 1 for his draft status, attract plenty of attention, which is coming whether Rose likes it or not.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times