Derrick Rose finally set to return for Bulls

In the pantheon of greatly anticipated exhibition games, oxymoron that it is, Saturday’s in the Indianapolis basketball temple ranks among the most significant, a great welcome back for one of the NBA’s basketball gods.

Or at least most everyone still hopes.

“I’m just playing the same way I normally do,” Derrick Rose promised after Bulls practice Friday, displaying the sort of self assurance we were accustomed to watching in him when he’d attempt a game winning shot. “There’s no point holding back. I think we go as I go, and me being aggressive gets people open. And that’s how I’m going to play.”

But this bit of sangfroid at this time perhaps defines Rose best as the basketball world wonders just what they’ll see in Rose after the longest injury absence ever for a former league Most Valuable Player.

Rose has not played against NBA competition in a game, even an exhibition, since his catastrophic knee injury in the opening playoff game to conclude the 2011-12 season. He missed all of last season amidst doubt among some in the community of his motives and readiness. But he remained stoic and committed. And now he says he’s ready.

Reported by Sam Smith of the Bulls.com Blog