As severe knee injuries go, Chicago Bulls’ all-pro guard Derrick Rose’s was pretty routine according to doctors. I’ve never suffered a severe injury (knocks on wood) so I’m not going to sit here and tell you I know what Derrick Rose has gone through, but something just isn’t right.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many conversations I’ve had with friends and colleagues about Rose’s situation but I know I’ve had a lot of them. They’ve ranged from “he’s being given bad advice from his agent” to “he’s just scared to play” to “he knows the Bulls have no chance so why risk it.” Talk to actual Bulls’ fans and you’ll find that sentiments are similar yet have much more inappropriate language.
What we know is that Derrick Rose injured his knee in last year’s playoffs and was pronounced ‘physically ready to play’ back in early March of this season. He has yet to appear in a game since he left that court that night and now that we are more than two months past the time doctors said he was ready, questions have emerged about Rose’s mental state.
It doesn’t help of course that Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings returned in just nine months from his knee injury to rush for over 2,000 yards and claim the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award. The pressure has been so intense through the playoffs that his teammate Joakim Noah had finally heard enough and snapped hard at reporters he sensed were questioning Rose’s toughness.
If Rose just hasn’t reached the point where he is mentally ready to compete, I respect that. Injuries affect all of us differently and if he is laying awake at night worrying about damaging that knee the next time he comes down the court I get that. The problem I have with that argument in Rose’s case however is that he has participated, allegedly, in full-contact practices with his Chicago teammates. If his mental readiness were truly in question then how was able to compete so hard in practice?
Again, these are just reports that say he was playing hard and in game conditions but they come from several players and even team doctors who cleared him. If I’m the Chicago Bulls, I have to be beside myself. My best player is refusing to play even though he has been 100% cleared to do so.
There is growing sentiment that his agent, former Bulls’ guard B.J. Armstrong, is spear-heading the decision to keep him on the bench. Rose was traded by the Bulls back in 1997 almost immediately after criticizing the front office and insiders say he has never really forgotten that. Could his grudge be affecting Rose? Or is it Rose’s brother who is also believed to be meddling worse than Scooby-Doo and the gang.
Whatever it is, Rose is not doing himself any favors by continuing to sit. His teammates have left it all on the floor in beating Brooklyn in seven games and now in their duel with Miami. That can’t sit well in his gut as he sits there on the bench. I can’t think for Derrick Rose but I certainly can’t find any reason why isn’t playing.
New York at Indiana (Pacers lead 2-1) – The Knicks are squabbling and the Pacers are great at home. New York is a five and half point underdog which I’ll take the action on. Problem is, I like Indiana to win.
Golden State at San Antonio (Series tied 2-2) – After the overtime thriller won by Golden State, we have a best of three remaining. The Spurs are favored by seven and I like them to win, but I like the Warriors to keep it tight.