CHICAGO – Derrick Rose didn't just receive a big reception at the United Center on Wednesday during the Chicago Bulls & # 39; 109-89 win against the Detroit Pistons. His former partner Luol Deng did the same.
In October, Deng signed a one-day deal to retire as a Bull after playing 10 of his 15 seasons in Chicago. The Bulls honored him in the second quarter Wednesday night, when Deng received a standing ovation from 18,119 fans from his seat in a mid-level suite. "Chicago means a lot to me when you look back, in my career as a basketball player coming here as a young man, 19, but there is a lot of history here and I want to finish the right way. The best way to do this is to familiar faces and people I know well. ”
Rose, who played the first seven years of his Chicago career, scored 18 points for the Pistons. Deng said he chose Wednesday's game because he wanted Rose to be among those present.
Deng's former Bull-teammates Jannero Pargo, Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, John Lucas III, Ben Gordon, Aaron Gray and Nazr Mohammed were also in the house. in support of the two-time All-Star.
"It was refreshing to get her flowers while she could still smell them," Pargo told ESPN. "My only surprise is that there aren't many people here. Luol is loved."
Part of the reason more teammates didn't attend was because Deng, who is enjoying retirement, didn't go out of his way to call a group of people.
In 2014, he also didn't leave the franchise on the best terms following his trade from Chicago to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum's contract and draft pick, but he did let those bygones. Nothing but good memories was shared in that suite with some of the men she had been with for years.
"First of all, it's speeding up. All you have to do with it is just your memories." Noah told ESPN. "What happened to Loul, he exchanged it here after playing for several minutes. He gave his heart to the organization.
" When it was over, it was bittersweet, but for him to dispel all the negativity and realize that special memories are more important than that and put your ego to the side and say, the team we have is special and this is where he wants to end his career, "he added. It says a lot. about who he is as a person. I’m just proud to be here – these are the best times of my life. "
Deng, 34, played in Chicago in 2004-14 and averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 46% shooting. Spent 15 seasons in total league, including seven playoffs display, and still ranks fourth on the Bulls career leaders list in points (10,286).
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.