Before the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls help tip off the NBA season on Tuesday, Heat forward LeBron James is going to reach out to Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose in order to officially welcome him back to the NBA.
Rose hasn’t played since tearing his ACL in the fourth quarter of a game on victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2012 playoffs.
Rose won the 2010-11 MVP award and James has collected the last two, giving him four in his career.
“I’m happy and thrilled that he’s back,” James told Mike Wallace of ESPN. “I’m happy with what he did last year, to be able to stand strong throughout everything, throughout all of the adversity of everybody criticizing him about what he should do. He did what was best for him.”
In his career, Rose, the top overall pick of the 2008 draft, has averaged 21.0 points, 6.8 assists and 3.8 rebound per game.
“It’s just great to see [Rose] back to full strength,” James said. “The game is happy to have him back.”
The Bulls and Heat will tip at 8:00 pm EST Tuesday and the game is on TNT.