Derrick Rose is one of the greatest talents the NBA has seen in years. He is a good kid. He loves his city. He loves his teammates. He loves his family. He loves basketball. He doesn’t fall into the AAU-culture of loving all of your oppenents because you played the same DJ Clue mix tape while traveling across the country playing team ball. He still wants to murder you on the court. He is great for the game of basketball. He is great for the NBA. So why does life just not seem to be fair for Derrick Rose?
On Friday night, in a game versus the Portland Trail Blazers, Derrick Rose suffered a nasty torn meniscus in a non-contact injury while making a cut to receive a pass in the third quarter of the game. This is the former NBA MVP who missed the entire season last year recooperating from a tearing his ACL on April 28th in the 2012 NBA playoffs. He missed all of last season. He worked his way back. He got stronger. He got more disciplined. He got better. He was dedicated. He put in countless hours in the gym and in the rehab facility doing whatever it took to get himself physically and mentally ready to return to the Bulls. He had an entire city on his back. He had a president praying for his recovery. He is the future of the Chicago Bulls, that helped give a franchise reason to believe again after being far removed from the spoiled Jordan years. When he came back this year, basketball fans were proud. Chicago fans were elated. And anyone who has torn their ACL or have had a severe leg injury was able to see that with hard work and determination, one can overcome anything. Unlike Robert Griffith 3, who let everybody know about his rehab anywhere people would listen, D Rose was quiet, humble, and kept his rehab to himself. It was about more than him. It was about coming back for the Bulls. And now…after another non-contact injury, this great player’s season is over…again. And it’s just not fair.
This morning on November 25, 2013, Derrick Rose underwent season ending surgery to repair a miniscus tear to his right knee. The surgery will end Rose’s season for Chicago. This is the second major injury to happen to Derrick Rose in his very young NBA career. He now will have played only 50 games over the past three years. It is a major blow to one of the leagues brightest and youngest stars. Say what you want to about the Bulls, but this is a huge loss for the NBA. The NBA has a couple of larger than life, transcendent stars…Lebron, Kobe, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose. And I’m sure you can make the argument for guys like Melo, James Harden, Russel Westbrook, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki, and others, but those core four are a marketers dream. Rose is a major building block for the NBA in terms of marketing and revenue. He is a crowd draw. He brings in the dollars in terms of seats, viewers, and merchandise. His latest injury is a devestating blow to the league who was already trying to capatilize on his comeback story this season.
Derrick Rose is the heart and soul of the Chicago Bulls. Many pundits picked the Bulls to challenge the Heat for the Eastern Conference title this year with a healthy D Rose. Although Rose has got off to a rough start this year, after scorching the preseason, his presence on the Bulls was a very positive one. The big knock on the Bulls has always been their ability to score. You know that a Tom Thibodeau coached team was going to defend, and the Bulls bring that defensive intensity every night. But having Rose in the lineup gives you a player that not only can score but create for others. The Bulls are more of an attacking team offensively with Rose on the court. Rose is also the cornerstone of the Bulls future. Winning the MVP title a couple of years ago changed things for Rose. It made him a larger than life player, an extreme talent who is very young (just turned 25 a month ago) now became the focal point of a franchise yearning to get back to the NBA Finals. With Rose back, the Bulls were hoping this would be the year for a chance to knock off the defending champs. Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah make up a formidable starting five that can compete with anyone in the league, but without Rose, the Bulls find themselves back in the same whole they were in last year…without a leader who can score.
What do the Bulls do now? Luol Deng is a free agent in the offseason. Things have soured so much with front office managament regarding Deng who wanted a felt like he deserved a contract extension (which he does) that he now may have to be dealt soon before the trade deadline comes. The Bulls can’t let him go for nothing, and with Rose now out for the season, it may be smart to package him for a scorer, or to a team with lottery pick aspirations to draft one of the young studs coming out in this years draft. The Bulls can not beat the Heat with their current roster without Rose. They simply don’t have the scoring power to match up with the Big 3 in Miami. As hard as the current Bulls will play for Coach Thibs, this unit just can’t get it done. The Chicago brass knows that, and now they really need to think long and hard about what they want to do about the remainder of this season. The Bulls will make the playoffs without Rose, but they won’t be able to do any real damage, so their best bet is to look for a trade taker for Deng. The problem with this is that the rest of the league knows Chicago’s predicatment and won’t give up full value for Deng, leaving the Bulls in a rather tough spot. Maybe Jimmy Butler can take that next step. Who knows? Bottom line, the Rose loss is devestating for the Chicago Bulls chances this season.
Players around the league have been jumping to Twitter and speaking in interviews about the recent loss of D. Rose. As a competitor you never want to see one of the greats be sidelined due to injury, especially a guy like Rose, who means so much to the league, the Bulls, and the city of Chicgao after watching him work so hard to come back from his last injury. Paul George, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Mario Chalmers, Nicolas Batum, Marco Belinelli, Jarrett Jack, and Damian Lillard were just some of the players who went to social media to show their support for Rose. Rose had the choice of two different surgeries, one that would have cleaned out the meniscus and had him able to return this year, or the other one was to reattach the meniscus, which is better for Rose’s career long term. Rose’s camp opted for what was best long term and that is why he is now out for the rest of the season. It’s a bitter blow to Bulls fans for this season but here’s hoping that it is the right move for the long term career of this dominant superstar.
I’m a sad dude today. I am a Bulls fan and I am a huge Derrick Rose supporter. I feel like I got gut punched today. But I know that the surgery is the right thing to do for this young man’s career. It’s just a shame to see injuries happen in general, but especially to really good people. Guys that do the right thing, are good to the fans, work with the media, loved by their teammates and coaches, put in the long hours, love and respect the game so much that it’s a treasured temple to them. Derrick Rose is that guy and it’s sad to see this young man have to endure what he just went through over the past 12 months, a long, hard, and difficult recovery. The late Malcom X once said, without struggle, there is no progress. Will he ever be the same again? Only god knows that, but this one is going to hurt for awhile. It’s not only going to hurt for Derrick Rose, it’s going to hurt for the million of fans that admire and love him.