"I know it's been there,'' Rose told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I heard there were some upset people. I'm happy I didn't personally see it. I don't want to see that. I kind of wonder where it was coming from because it seemed like whenever I was around, everything was all right. It bothered me because when I wasn't around, I would hear from certain people that everything wasn't all right.''
The tension Rose discussed has been widely speculated upon over the years, especially after the former MVP's recent injury woes. Bulls executive vice president John Paxson tried to allay those concerns during an appearance on ESPN 1000's "Waddle and Silvy Show" on Thursday.
"I know I personally talk to Derrick," Paxson said. "I don't talk to people in his so called 'camp.' I don't even know who that [is]."
While there's no clear-cut start as to where the bad blood began, there are plenty of clues as to why things got so bad. B.J. Armstrong, one of Rose's agents, is believed to have some lingering harsh feelings at the way his relationship with the organization ended. In more recent developments, Rose's brother, Reggie, expressed his disappointment with the fact the Bulls had not surrounded his brother with more talent and didn't make any big moves at the 2013 deadline.
"It's frustrating to see my brother play his heart and soul out for the team and them not put anything around him," Reggie Rose told ESPNChicago.com at the time.
When Derrick Rose didn't return to play during the 2012-13 season as he recovered from a torn ACL in his left knee, the organization supported him publicly. But many privately questioned why he wasn't on the floor after being medically cleared by team doctors.
The tension grew even deeper last season after Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee and missed the rest of the year after playing in just 10 games. What exacerbated things between the organization and Rose's inner circle in recent weeks, sources told the Sun-Times, is the fact that the 25-year-old didn't take a more active approach in the free-agent recruiting process, especially with Carmelo Anthony. Rose acknowledged on Monday that he had spoken to Anthony, but there were many within the organization that wished he had done more.
Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf refuted the report Thursday.
"I am confounded by the irresponsible report in the Chicago Sun-Times suggesting there is anything approaching discord or confusion between the Bulls executive office, coaching staff, and Derrick Rose or any other Bulls player," he said in a statement. "To the contrary, I can remember no time when the organization has been any more focused, optimistic, and cohesive. I've got to assume suggestions otherwise are intended to undermine the goals and objectives, spirit, and reputation of the Chicago Bulls. I am deeply disappointed that unnamed sources and totally inaccurate statements and assumptions can be used to foment nonexistent friction. The report is totally without basis or fact. It is pure malicious fiction."