Derrick Rose may be the Chicago Bulls' best player and the reason the United Center sells out 41 nights in the winter and spring. And because of that fact, many people would peg him -- quite naturally -- as being the leader of the team given his status within the franchise and the NBA.
But surprisingly enough, the 24-year-old actually defers to another player on the roster when it comes to the leadership department. This player is a two-time All-Star in his own right who also happens to be the longest tenured Bull: veteran small forward Luol Deng.
"Lu is like the father figure of the team," Rose said in a recent interview with Hoopsfix. "Making sure people stay in for the night if we have a big game and just letting us know that he's always there for us. He's the most vocal teammate that I have right now."
That admission could come as a shock to fans who would be more apt to peg Joakim Noah or Carlos Boozer as the most vocal Bulls player on the roster, but Rose says it's different with Deng.
"Joakim, of course he gets emotionally involved in the game, but Lu, for sure, you're always going to hear him. He makes sure that everyone is calming down at the right moment."
Luol Deng is one of the most respected players in the Bulls locker room, but the 2013-14 season could be his last in Chicago as his current contract is set to expire next summer.