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Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah get mixed reactions in Chicago return

CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose received a mix of boos and cheers during introductions before his first game back in Chicago on Friday night. He also was booed the first few times he handled the ball.

But Rose walked off of the Bulls' floor with a smile and celebratory high-five from teammate Joakim Noah after helping the New York Knicks to a much-needed 117-104 win at the United Center.

Afterward, Rose said the boos from the home crowd didn't bother him.

"It was all fun, man. I love competing," he said after recording 15 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in his best performance as a Knick. "I love when the crowd is into it. I knew it was going to be some yells. I knew there was going to be some boos. I'm from here. I'm used to it. I've been getting it ever since I was in sixth grade, going on the West Side of Chicago and playing and me being a South Side. I'm used to it."

Noah, a teammate of Rose's for eight seasons in Chicago, was greeted with a loud ovation during his introduction. He said afterward that it was difficult to keep his emotions in check.

"There was a lot of love in the building," Noah said. "I was trying to stay as focused on the game as possible."

Rose and Noah were later featured in a video tribute by the Bulls at the first timeout. The montage showed highlights throughout their Chicago careers.

The home crowd then cheered both players as they walked on the floor following the video.

"It means a lot," Rose said. "I played eight years here, figured out how to play the NBA game. I had great coaches along the way in the past, and this is a new chapter here."

The initial boos for Rose were probably the result of the complicated legacy he left in Chicago.

Rose, a Chicago native, was drafted by the Bulls with the No. 1 overall pick out of Memphis in 2008. He was named Rookie of the Year that season and earned the NBA MVP award after the 2010-11 campaign, becoming the youngest player to win the award.

But Rose suffered his first knee injury in the playoffs the following season and suffered several injuries over the next four seasons. In total, he played in just 39 percent of his games following the initial injury. During that span, Rose received criticism over what some perceived to be a cautious approach to his rehab.

The Bulls missed the playoffs last season, when Rose played in 66 games. He was traded to New York in late June. A few days later, Noah opted to sign with Knicks as a free agent after spending his first nine seasons in Chicago.

Noah said earlier Friday that it was an appropriate time to break up the core of the Bulls. He later added that he and Rose, his close friend, did all they could to win a title in their years with the Bulls.

"Even though we didn't win a championship here, I know how hard and bad Derrick wanted to win one, how bad I wanted to win one. It just didn't happen," Noah said. "There are no regrets. We gave everything we had for this city."

Said Rose: "Only thing I can do about that is say I gave it my all. I really tried. I had multiple times, many times, where I envisioned winning a championship here. It never happened, so I've got to take [those] visions and take them to New York.''

The Knicks improved to 2-3 on Friday, thanks in part to strong performances from Rose, Noah and Kristaps Porzingis (27 points, five rebounds). Noah finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

"It felt really good. I'm not going to lie. It felt great," Noah said. "It was good to bounce back. I think our team is going to keep growing. We need that adversity. That's when you know what a team is really made of."