Derrick Rose, the former MVP and point guard of the Chicago Bulls has been dealing with loads of criticism. Both those criticizing him for not playing and those criticizing the critics for being critical. Everyone needs to shut the hell up. The reality of it is we are all right and wrong at the same time.
Derrick Rose is technically right in nursing his injury. Tearing your ACL, even partially, is a brutal and painful injury. As someone who only slightly tore his ACL and felt the excruciating pain caused by it, I understand this. I also understand the argument being used of Grant Hill. He had leg, and particularly foot issues that kept him from being the catalyst for the Orlando Magic in the 2000’s that he signed a $93 million dollar contract to be. His doctors assured him that his foot, which he had complained about for roughly 2 years prior to becoming a regular on the DL, was perfectly fine and was nothing more than a twist or a muscle fracture at the most. Well needless to say they were damn wrong and Hill suffered for about 4 years cause of it.
The problem is this comparison is just as cherry picked as the Adrian Peterson comparison which I have used before. The reason I used the AP argument is because it was the same exact injury diagnosed and repaired in the same exact time frame, but one player came back and played while another is still on the bench. The argument of, “basketball is different, it uses more footwork and can lead to a bigger tear or severe soreness” to which I reply simply, stop making excuses. Have you watched an NFL running back? Have you watched Adrian Peterson? He cuts, he moves his feet, he pivots, he has to planet and turn, the only thing I will give you is that Rose will be doing MORE of this. I agree, but without all of the hitting to the leg that Peterson was guaranteed. That argument is essentially a voided argument.
The big issue with the Grant Hill comparison is the doctors. Hill was misdiagnosed multiple times by multiple doctors, Rose was diagnosed correctly by multiple doctors and surgery was performed immediately. A full tear is better than a partial tear because it heals at a quicker pace (this is what I have been told from the medical community if I am wrong correct me) thus making Rose’s injury very bad, but also better than worrying about when it will tear again. Rose started walking, running and finally being able to return to normalcy roughly 2 plus months ago. He was cleared by both the Chicago Bulls medical staff and his personal physician to play full go. He plays in practice on a regular basis, apparently dominating for the better part of 2 months, and does not hold back. Why didn’t he come back? If we’re being honest, it’s about money, but what if he did come back? What if he said he was suiting up for game 2 at Miami? If we remember back to Orlando in the finals against the Lakers when Jameer Nelson returned, all it did was hold the Magic back and cause them to get destroyed quickly and easily leading to Dwight leaving and Van Gundy being fired. The Magic then made trades and allowed players to leave via free agency all of which made them go from a favorite to a 5th or 6th seed.
As I said, both sides are right and this is why, despite what Joakim Noah said, the rest of the NBA views him as soft and will exploit his obvious fear about his leg. They will force him to go that direction and force him to put weight on that leg. They will get in his mind because he already has done it to himself. Rose showed his hand and rival point guard’s will do their best to exploit that. I am on record as to saying Derrick Rose will never win a title without someone bigger than him leading the team, but in this case he has shown a weakness.
On the other side, if he came back what would be the point? The only thing he can do is cause rotation and personnel problems. It is better for him to be mentally ready to go instead of worrying about his leg and if he came back he would cause major headaches for Nate Robinson and Marco Bellinelli who are currently the leaders (and ballhandlers) of this ragtag squad.
So in the end of it Derrick Rose is a walking catch-22. If he comes back he looks like a warrior who wants to contribute, but he could cause further injury or make the team worse and take them off their emotional high. If he sits, he looks soft to other NBA players and shows they can get in his head easily, but he also keeps himself together and prepare for next year because let’s be honest, the Bulls are not winning the NBA title or the NBA can fold as an organization. So what is the best idea? What should Rose do?
He should tell his brother to shut up, he should say he is not playing at all in the playoffs and let this team ride to the best of their ability. The Bulls without Derrick Rose have as many wins against the Heat as the Bulls with Derrick Rose. The squad is NOT the problem and neither is the coaching because in my opinion, despite the MVP (which he deserved) I think Derrick Rose is vastly overrated just like most top tier point guards.