Thanks largely to good luck, Derrick Rose fell into the Bulls’ lap in the NBA draft lottery. For a team in need of a leader, this was the best present the Bulls could possibly have received. In this interview, Rose compares the college game to the NBA, talks about his progress, and reveals the one thing he doesn’t think he’s going to get in his rookie season.

The Heckler: How happy are you so far with your progress, and how much better do you think you can be?
Derrick Rose: I feel good about my progress. Time will tell with seeing how good I’ll be.

TH: The Bulls have not had an All-Star since Michael Jordan in 1998. Do you think you can be the first one to represent the team since then?
DR: If getting my teammates open and winning games will make me an All-Star, I’ll take that.

TH: You’ve really adapted very well to the league in a short period of time. Did you think you would be as good as you are so far in the season?
DR: I thought I was good, but for me to come out playing like this and getting these type of minutes, I never thought that.

TH: Comparing how you have progressed in the pros so far compared to a similar amount of games in college, do you think you have adapted quicker to the pro game?
DR: I think I did. My veterans have helped me out so much to adjust, and my coaches have helped me out a little bit more. Our offense is almost like Memphis, so that helps me too.

TH: Coming to the pros, you notice that everyone is bigger, faster and stronger. Do you see anyone that can keep up with you? It seems like when you want to go to the basket, nobody can stop you.
DR: There’s a lot of people out there, but I put them in a situation where they ask, “Where’s my help?”

TH: I asked your Coach Vinny Del Negro before the game today that while you’re going to the hole a lot, you’re not getting a lot of free-throw attempts. Do you think as time goes by the officials will get to know your game a little better and start giving you more calls going to the basket?
DR: No, not at all.

TH: Do you think there’s a lot of contact and that you’re not getting the calls?
DR: Yeah, but they’re not going to give a rookie no-calls.

From the January 2009 issue by Darrell Horwitz