By Marc Weinreich
September 06, 2012

Derrick Rose became an equity partner in the Chicago-based pizza chain Giordano's. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose took some time off from rehabbing his knee to become an equity partner in the pizza restaurant Giordano's, according to a report Wednesday evening from ESPN's Darren Rovell.

Richard Levy, managing partner of Victory Park Capital Advisors, purchased the Chicago-based pizza joint in 2011 and became friends with former Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong in an effort to grow the brand's roots. Levy found out from Armstrong, Rose's agent, that Rose is a fan of Giordano's and the two sides began talking about a possible business venture.

Rose reportedly purchased a piece of the franchise and is now entitled to a share of its profits as it expands into the Midwest, Big-10 college cities and specifically throughout California and Texas. Currently, the brand has 43 restaurants but only three of them are located outside Illinois.

The price Rose paid to become an equity partner has not been disclosed.

Rose's face will be used on a special takeout box for Giordano's and his image will be used to promote his favorite kind of pizza: a thin crust pizza with cheese, sausage and red peppers. But according to Rovell, Gioardano's cannot use any of the Bulls' trademarks, as the team already has a contract with the brand DiGiorno.

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