He’s the point guard for the Chicago Bulls who once again has turned up injured. It’s a knee problem, and he had surgery last month.
BUT AS THE Chicago Sun-Times reported, the ball player whom many believe the key to whether or not the Bulls will ever be a significant basketball team in coming seasons doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to recover.
While team officials say they’d like to think he will be healed in just over a month, Rose said he’s not about to rush himself to play again this season. “Whenever I feel well, that’s when I’ll step back on the court,” he told the newspaper.
On the one hand, I have no doubt that Rose thinks he’s being particularly honest in assessing his recovery. He’ll play when he plays, and not a moment sooner. Maybe he thinks he’s saving himself for future glory to be performed on the basketball court.
Maybe he envisions this as an isolated incident that will be long forgotten by that future date many years from now when he is inducted into the professional basketball Hall of Fame.
BESIDES, HE’S AN athlete, someone who is used to being coddled because he’s special. He’s Derrick Rose. His knee is more important than any body part of a mere mortal.
But let’s be honest.
Sports fans are willing to mollycoddle the athletes who on a certain level perform. In the case of Rose, this is the third time in seven seasons playing in the National Basketball Association that he has suffered a severe injury that disrupted his playing time significantly.
Learning that he doesn’t care enough to want to return to play makes him come across like some sort of wimp. I can’t help but wonder if the Rose legacy is now set in Chicago as some sort of flake who wasn’t tough enough to endure on the court.
IF THAT’S THE case, then the biggest joke in this commentary was that line five paragraphs ago that hinted Rose will become a basketball Hall of Famer. He could wind up as the most disappointing athlete to ever wear the jersey of a Chicago professional sports team.
He definitely has surpassed Eddy Curry as the most disappointing hometown boy who was drafted Number 1 and expected to lead the Chicago Bulls to championship success for years to come.
Perhaps Rose still mentally thinks he’s the Simeon Career Academy athlete who will be coddled because, in his mind, “I’m Derrick Rose.” The guy who once faced allegations that he had someone else take his SAT college entrance exams and had his high school boost his grades to keep him academically eligible to play ball.
Sadly for him, Rose probably won’t realize how much his attitude stinks until he has washed out with the Bulls. He may wind up latching on to another NBA team, like the one-time Thornwood High School star Curry did. He may even be better off away from the pressure of playing in Chicago.
BECAUSE THE EXPECTATIONS here are turning out to be something that Rose doesn’t seem capable of living up to. Unfortunately, the Bulls’ roster these days seems based around the idea that Derrick is the team leader.
Without him, there is little chance of the Bulls accomplishing much of anything resembling success. While those years of athletic glory in the 1990s drift further and further into our city’s memory.
To the point where the Luv-a-Bulls’ routines could wind up being the only thing worth checking out at the United Center these days.