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LeBron on Derrick Rose's injury: 'Didn't want to believe it'

LeBron says he expects Derrick Rose to come back in full-force. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) LeBron says he expects Derrick Rose to come back in full-force. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

BY CHRIS JOHNSON

CHICAGO – The reaction from fans and media late last month to news that Bulls point guard Derrick Rose – while cutting during the third quarter of a November 22 game at Portland – had suffered his second major knee injury in 19 months was unanimous: this stinks.

The general sentiment from players who spoke publicly about Rose’s injury was similar. Before a game Thursday night against the Bulls in Chicago, Miami Heat forward LeBron James recounted how he reacted to Rose’s injury.

“Didn’t want to believe it,” James said. “I was actually at home watching the game. I was watching the Bulls and Blazers game when it happened. I saw the play.”

When asked whether he believed Rose could return from two knee injuries, James didn’t hesitate. “No doubt. He’s very young, but more than that he’s very determined. I think he’ll be great.”

MAHONEY: Rose won't rule himself out for playoffs

James’ statement echoes comments made Thursday by Rose, who spoke to the media for the first time since his injury after the Chicago Bulls’ morning shootaround.

“You can be a fool if you want to,” Rose said when asked about people who question his reliability as the Bulls’ franchise cornerstone.

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