OAKLAND, Calif. --- What does the MVP do for an encore? How about making the winning shot --- and a beauty at that --- against the Lakers on Christmas Day.
"It has been that way all last year and he picked up right where he left off," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of Derrick Rose's game-winner at the Staples Center. "It's one big shot after the next that he has the courage to take. At the end, he showed great resolve. He led us. We found a way to win."
Much was made of Rose urging his teammates on down the stretch of Sunday's season-opening win, but it wasn't his vocal leadership that impressed Thibodeau.
"Sometimes that's overstated," Thibodeau said. "The way he leads us is by his actions. He comes in very day, he's there early he stays late, he studies, he practices hard, he gives you everything he has, he never quits on a play. To me, that's better leadership. Sometimes guys say all the right things and never do any of them. Derrick does all the right things and isn't afraid to speak up. It's the way he carries himself, the way he's always ready, always alert, always into it. When things were going against us he was pulling everybody together. That's the leadership I'm looking for and that's what he's shown. That's the best leadership you can have."