Posted by Ben Golliver
|Derrick Rose is peeved at the Indiana Pacers. (Getty Images)|
The reigning NBA MVP broke from his usually humble, soft-spoken demeanor to let reporters know that he's holding a grudge against the Pacers for how they celebrated a Wednesday night victory at the United Center.
ESPNChicago.com reports that Rose said he can't wait to get his revenge.
"I'll never forget how they celebrated just from winning this game," Rose told reporters. "I can't wait to play them again."Pacers coach Frank Vogel, meanwhile, explained that his team's post-game celebration was simply a product of their pent-up frustration at losing to the Bulls in the 2011 playoffs.
"They are just thrilled to get the win here," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "They were crushed that we didn't beat them last year in the playoffs."This isn't any sort of reckless trash talk from Rose, but it is an instructive episode because it represents a full step of evolution. Not only are Rose and the Bulls playing like the league's best team, they have been playing like that long enough so that the target on their back is fully formed and their past vanquished victims are out for revenge night after night.
The next step, of course, is to have the rings that elevate that dynamic to the next level, but this is clearly progress from when the Bulls were still developing around Rose in 2009-2010 and then surprising people with the consistency of greatness in their play in 2010-2011.
A little more than a week ago, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant told the world that only two NBA players have the competitive edge that he has: Chris Paul and Rose. Over the last 24 hours, we've gotten a great glimpse at what Bryant meant. Paul got into a battle of respect with Lakers big man Pau Gasol while Rose takes a Jordanesque turn here, using a perceived slight as fuel for the next competition.
It took a long, long time for NBA players to finally realize that they should do whatever it takes not to anger Jordan and Bryant, lest they feel wrath in return. Given that history, this won't be the last time we see comments like this from Rose. Until then, we all countdown until the fun part: March 5, the next time Indiana visits the Windy City.