Are the Bulls Afraid To Haze Derrick Rose?

It's a time-tested tradition in professional sport: If you're a rookie, you're going to get hazed. That simple.

Of course the hazing takes numerous forms. In the NBA, it's usually of the chiding, "you-are-my-inferior" type -- carrying luggage, arranging for rides, paying for dinners, that sort of thing. In professional baseball, it almost always involves costumes. The Florida Marlins are a perfect example. (Actually, they're not a perfect example, because we're pretty sure everyone on the Marlins not named "Luis Gonzalez" is a rookie. But you get the point.) In football, well, we don't really know what goes on in football. Frankly, we don't want to know.

But what happens when you have a young team, and the rookie on your squad happens to be a) the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft b) your best player and c) the point guard responsible for getting you touches? Derrick Rose will tell you what happens: nothing.

Is Rose getting the star treatment from his teammates?

''We can't throw too much at him because he's starting right now and playing a big role,'' forward Drew Gooden said. ''With some of those bottom-of-the-barrel rookies, you can kind of take more advantage of them.

''Derrick Rose, slowly but surely when he finds his role, we'll have him doing some chores.''

We love Gooden's equivocation there. "No, it's not that he's, like, better than us and it'd be weird if we hazed them. Nothing like that at all! It's just that, um, ha, ahem ... he's still finding his role. That's it. We don't want to make him ang- -- er, we don't want to overwhelm him. Right." I wonder if Gooden was looking over his shoulder suspiciously the whole time to see if Rose was paying attention. Poor Drew. So bold with the facial hair. So meek with the rookie hazing.

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