CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose was always at the United Center last season, rehabbing, working out and watching.
He was here but not really.
Before his first home game back with the Chicago Bulls after missing a season recovering from ACL surgery to his left knee, Rose talked about the difference between preparing to watch and preparing to play.
"Oh, yeah, Thibs [Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau] talking to me, yelling at me a little bit more," Rose said Wednesday before the Bulls faced the Detroit Pistons. "It feels good, even just coming back to the building, being a part of the walk-through, not just sitting on the side, watching everybody go through the plays. I'm happy to be back playing and just can't wait for these games to start and get the regular season going."
Rose, who missed the team's last preseason game in Brazil for precautionary reasons because of soreness in his left knee, said he can't wait for the all "the firsts" to be over so he can hear some new questions and move on with the season.
One thing he's looking forward to is the first time his son realizes that's his father playing right below his luxury suite.
Derrick Rose Jr. was born last October, so he never has seen his father play at the United Center, where 20,000 fans scream his name.
"He's still confused right now when he sees me play on TV," Rose said. "When he sees a poster of me anywhere, it confuses him. I can't wait until the day where he knows I'm actually playing. He loves the game already. He's going to be a fan of the game."
How are his handles?
"He's double-dribbling right now, but he's going to be all right," Rose said.