LAS VEGAS — In a rare interview, B.J. Armstrong said Derrick Rose is in good spirits, lauded the Bulls’ offseason moves and said his client’s main focus is pursuing a championship for his hometown franchise.
“I was recently out in Las Vegas and very excited to see Derrick back on the court playing again,” Armstrong, the former Bulls guard and executive turned agent, said by phone Friday. “He was in great spirits ... and very excited with the offseason moves the Bulls have made and the roster. He’s excited about the depth of this year’s team.”
At Team USA minicamp this week, Rose has praised the additions of Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott and the re-signing of Kirk Hinrich. Rose participated in the recruitment of Gasol and Carmelo Anthony.
The Tribune reported last month that Rose, who spoke to Anthony for 20 minutes inside the Bulls locker room, made clear to the All-Star forward how much he would welcome his arrival, despite not attending a dinner for Anthony later that night.
Anthony chose to re-sign with the Knicks, one of many high-profile free-agency decisions that also featured LeBron James leaving the Heat for the Cavaliers.
“Being a competitor, Derrick is also excited for the coming season in light of all the changes in the Eastern Conference,” Armstrong said. “He’s looking forward to going through the process of seeing how good this team can be in pursuing a championship for his hometown of Chicago.”
Golden oldie: At 33, Kyle Korver is the oldest player in Team USA camp by four years over Paul Millsap. Stephen Curry, seven years younger, is next.
“I’m not here because of my potential, right?” Korver said, laughing.
Nope, the popular former Bull, current Hawk and sharpshooter wherever he has played is here for his body of work. That includes his NBA record of 127 straight games with at least one 3-pointer that ended last season.
“This is very cool being here,” Korver said. “Things have always kind of happened for me in reverse. After you work really hard, sometimes things come at the other end. It makes you feel proud to have this happen now. I take it seriously and try to add to the team.
“I’ve never thought I was an elite player or superstar. But I always wanted to be the best teammate.”
There’s no guarantee Korver will survive the cut from 19 to 12 before the team travels to Spain for the FIBA World Cup. But he feels he has played well and has plenty of support.
“I’m really happy for him, just the way he has worked himself into being here,” Bulls coach and Team USA assistant Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s had a great career. He’s the ultimate teammate. He can fit into any situation and make the team better.”