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Gordon: Bulls rebuffed late attempt for long-term deal
By Mike McGraw | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 11/2/2008 12:52 AM

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There may have been more animosity to the Ben Gordon contract negotiations than originally believed.

Gordon confirmed that before signing the one-year qualifying offer, which will make him an unrestricted free agent next summer, he tried to accept a long-term deal from the Bulls, believed to be worth around $55 million over six years.

The problem was a day earlier, Bulls management informed Gordon's agent, Raymond Brothers, that the offer was no longer available. According to multiple sources, the Bulls were told Gordon had no intention of taking the offer, which is why it was rescinded. There is some disagreement over whether the Bulls were ever told Gordon had changed his mind at the last minute, but the offer had been on the table for more than two months, so there was plenty of time to say yes.

Asked if he knew the offer was withdrawn, Gordon said several things happened that led him to believe the offer was still on the table.

"I guess it was just a miscommunication of some sort," Gordon said. "Things happen for a reason."

Bulls management has been reluctant to comment, but there is little doubt the team was frustrated by the ordeal. Director of player personnel Gar Forman took the lead role in negotiations.

Rose may raise voice: While the Bulls were getting schooled by Boston on Friday, rookie Derrick Rose felt he learned something from the experience.

"I've just got to be emotional out there," Rose said. "(Boston) was an emotional team. They talk to each other. There wasn't one time on the court when they weren't talking to each other. They were having fun."

If that means unleashing a primal scream after a basket in the second quarter, as the Celtics have been known to do, Rose insisted he's ready and willing. It won't be easy, because being loud doesn't come naturally for the 20-year-old guard.

"I really didn't care about emotions," Rose said. "That's just not me. That's not my personality. I'm a quiet guy, so why change? I'm going to start. It gets your team ready."

Walker set aside: Chicago native Antoine Walker joined the Grizzlies from Minnesota in the O.J. Mayo trade, but isn't playing because the team is committed to using young players. The 13-year veteran has one more year left on his contract at $9.3 million.

"I still feel like I've got a lot of basketball left in me and I can contribute to a team in the NBA," he said in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. "It's unfortunate that it's not working out here. But you have to respect the decision. This team has some good young talent."

Bull horns: Derrick Rose said he never went to a single Grizzlies game last season, even though his Memphis Tigers played in the same arena. ... Bulls forward Michael Ruffin (sprained ankle) did some running before Saturday's game and may return to practice soon.