Every morning I check Facebook and Twitter and read the select group of Chicago Bulls fans that continually throw Derrick Rose under the bus. They question his toughness and his heart and it’s equally laughable and sickening. For anyone in Chicago to question Derrick Rose is completely ridiculous and they’re making an emotional overreaction.
Derrick grew up in Englewood – one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America. Rose opened the 2010-11 campaign on a very bum ankle after missing the preseason and also rushed back from a litany of injuries during a lockout-shortened season last year only to see his season (and in the minds of some, potentially his career) end on a freak play in which no contact occurred.
Did people forget about these things?
Do people see that nobody that is around Derrick Rose on a regular basis, be it teammates, coaches, Bulls employees, beat reporters, or anyone else has had anything negative to say about this process and his recovery?
No, because they all see how hard he is working every single day since his surgery to come back and play basketball and help the Bulls win. It’s why Joakim Noah — after winning the biggest game of the entire frickin’ season — felt it was necessary to go on an impassioned rant sticking up for someone who hasn’t played a single minute all season. Derrick Rose is not out club hopping every night or dicking around or slacking off, he’s been at the Berto Center and with the team for months working to come back. Despite what people say about him as they call him names and question his heart, he continues to sit on the bench and be a great teammate every single playoff game even though some NBA superstars in similar circumstances keep their distance from the team.
Forget about Reggie Rose, BJ Armstrong, adidas and every other stupid conspiracy theory; this is a Derrick Rose decision.
I realize he’s been 100% medically cleared to play, and doctors are trusted; I can understand the frustration and the disappointment from fans. And — personally speaking — I would have liked Derrick to come back and test his body this season so that he doesn’t have an entire second summer of uncertainty about playing at the NBA level lingering in the back of his mind.
But if Derrick Rose doesn’t feel mentally ready to play then he shouldn’t play. Derrick has spent more time playing basketball and honing his craft than any of us have spent time doing anything so if he feels something is wrong then something is definitely wrong.
Derrick Rose does things physically that other point guards have almost never been able to do. He’s in the .000001% athletically. Derrick played with fearlessness around the rim, hurtling through the air and taking contact at full speed from 7-footers and that is rarely seen in players that are much bigger and stronger than him, let alone other point guards.
“Yeah, but Derrick Rose is dunking in warm-ups. He should play!”
Yeah, and so did kids in my gym class at my nearly all-white high school, but it differs greatly when the Miami Heat are throwing themselves in front of you and knocking your ass to the ground over and over again as you’re fighting a grueling 48-minute playoff war.
Friends used to say that they wished Derrick would show more caution and not play with such reckless abandon. So now he’s showing caution and some of those same fans crap on him and question his toughness after all that he’s been through?
Derrick Rose is not “Hockey Player A,” “Basketball Player B,” or Adrian Peterson; every injury, every body and every recovery is different. ACL tears — although they’ve advanced medically — are still a potentially career-threatening injury in any sport and it doesn’t take a doctor to see how serious Derrick’s injury was.
ACL tears generally take 8-12 months of recovery time. Derrick Rose had surgery on May 12, 2012. Last time I checked today is May 7, 2013. That’s within 12 months. It’s not 2014; stop freaking out.
Maybe Derrick isn’t even worried about re-injuring the ACL, but another part of his body. If he’s mentally not ready, it means that he’s playing or landing differently and could potentially risk injuring another part of his body.
Remember how a sprained big toe turned into back spasms turned into a groin strain turned into an ankle sprain turned into an ACL tear in 2011-12? I’d be stupid to think that ALL of those injuries were directly related to one another but because Derrick rushed back from those injuries and played differently then he would if healthy he probably led himself into further injury with different parts of his body because he was overcompensating for a previous injury. It happens to athletes all the time.
So maybe Derrick doesn’t want to hurt another part of his body or overcompensate and land on the other knee and hurt it because he’s scared to land and re-tweak the previous knee injury. Wouldn’t you be skittish after your first major injury after being nearly immortal for your entire basketball-playing life?
Doesn’t Derrick Rose deserve the benefit of the doubt after all he’s given Bulls fans and all he’s been through to become the youngest MVP ever and a bona fide NBA superstar?
The expectations put on Derrick by himself, his family, his neighborhood, his city, and the unprecedented $250 million contract adidas threw at him only makes the pressure of returning to his elite form that much more difficult.
For Bulls fans to hate on their own superstar — let alone a homegrown product that shows humility, works hard and has spent time giving back to his gang-riddled community — is absolutely appalling.
And you wonder why Chicago high school superstars often want to leave the state of Illinois and play college ball elsewhere and why elite NBA free agents never want to sign with the Bulls? There are many other reasons for those issues, of course, but Bulls fans hated on Joakim Noah his first season and Carlos Boozer and Hinrich and Hamilton and so on and so forth and those kinds of actions are seen by other ballplayers around the league and the young players of Chicago.
Derrick Rose came to the Bulls on a 1.7% chance in the NBA Draft lottery and the Bulls are lucky to have him in every way possible. Stop being so spoiled by the Jordan era or the previous few years and appreciate what you have in front of you, Bulls fans.
Chicago needs to stop eating its young and hating on its own. This is getting out of control.