For the second time in as many years, #DerrickRose season is over due to injury. The Bulls' 2012 season, what was optimistically supposed to be 'The Bulls Year', ended with a torn left ACL. There was reason to be hopeful, however, that Rose would be back in time to make a playoff run, should the Bulls qualify. They did qualify, but Rose wasn't ready yet to play. The fans and the media gave him a lot of shit, fair or not, for not coming back. They said he lacked heart, or mental discipline. They said that if he really wanted to be on the court he would be.
Now, not yet 20 games into the season, I'm experiencing a serious case of dejavu. In a fluke injury on Nov. 22, Derrick turned around to head back down the court, and tore his right meniscus. We hoped it wasn't serious when it happened, but surgery on the 25th, belied those hopes. In a press conference today (Dec. 5th) Rose again, though less adamantly, said that he would return for a playoff run if all of the ducks lined up. Hats off to my baby brother. Before anyone knew any details of the injury, he told me that Derrick was not coming back for the rest of the year. After details of the injury and surgery were released he sent me a snarky text, "I told you so."
And the fans are pissed again. Last year #DRose signed a $250 million deal with #Addidas, and as of May, 2013 #SportsIllustrated lists him as the 7th highest earning athlete. He's now got deals with Powerade, Wilson Sporting Goods, Skullcandy, 2K Sports, and is even a part owner Giordano's Pizza. All of that, more than last year's complaints that he had no heart, have made some of the fans go a little bit nuts. "He doesn't care about the team, he just wants to get paid," is a very popular sentiment, here in Chicago. Just turn on a sports talk radio station, or check #Twitter or #Facebook. It's everywhere. It helped matters none whatsoever that when asked today about his frame of mind D-Rose mentioned his his rehab plans, his son, his business plans. He did say that possibly maybe God was trying to tell him something, but maybe you don't want to talk about your money, Derrick.
I honestly am not sure how I feel about the whole situation. Like any fan, I'm disappointed. In Chicago we know how much it sucks to lose your franchise player. (#Cutler, I'm looking in your direction.) As a #WhiteSox fan, nothing drives me nuts more than hearing "Wait until next year" (now I'm looking in your direction #Cubs). But, I guess it is that time of year for the Bulls. Because regardless of whether or not the Bulls make the playoffs, which they won't, Rose will not be back again this year. Same as last year, he's got too much to lose by rushing. He mentioned in his interview that his career will be judged by #Championships. And he's right. Even right now, no one cares about MVP awards, or points per game, or triple doubles. All we want in this city, is rings.
Regarding his attitude, I'm not entirely sure about that either. I have to say, his tone now, sounds much different compared to last year's. He sounds more calm, more confident, and I have to say, a little bit defiant. When asked how he would respond to someone that said he was not trustworthy, injury prone, or that the Bulls should move on he responded, "What can I say to that? You can be a fool if you want to." He also talked about his new confidence in the rehab process, and all but guaranteed that he'd return to full form. [I play hard. That's just the type of player I am, and I'm never gonna stop.] To me all of that sounds like toughness.
I think he's a winner. The only problem with being a winner, is that you can't win if you don't play. I want to see him play basketball. Now. I'm not gonna hate on a guy for making money. But seeing these dumbass headphone commercials, and his face on the cover of video games is like a slap in the face. But I don't know him. Who am I to say he's tough, or mentally weak, or selfish. All I am is a fan, and all that matters to me are marks in the win column. So to Derrick Rose all I can fairly say is do your thing. Rehab. Get well, and get your ass back on that court asap. Chicago is thirsty for another winning team.