Taj Gibson's injury doesn't correlate to Derrick Rose

After Taj Gibson aggravated a sprained MCL and noted that "this is what happens when you rush back to try to help the team", a flurry of thought hit the Bulls blog-o-sphere that Derrick Rose should obviously be shut down, because he could re-injure himself if he comes back. After all, Taj Gibson was medically cleared to play right?

Other than in inherent fear that Derrick will hurt himself if he plays and Gibson's story supporting that fear, there's really nothing to relate the situations.

Taj Gibson hasn't been doing full court five on five practices for the past five weeks in preparation for his return.

Taj Gibson hasn't taken two months longer than other players with similar injuries.

Taj Gibson was likely cleared by a team doctor and hot his personal physician.

Taj Gibson has a totally different injury all together.

None of this means that Derrick Rose should play, but just like it's unfair to equate Adrian Peterson's recovery to Derrick Rose, it's just as unfair to equate Taj Gibson's aggravation of his knee injury to Derrick Rose to start creating additional fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

My stance on Rose is something like this:

Derrick needs to make the ultimate decision of when he feels healthy enough to play.

There's no point where it is too late for him to come back once he feels up to it.

He should come back as soon as he feels up to it both to prepare himself for next year and to fulfill his contract this year.

I interpret Rose's delay as meaning one [or a combination] of a few things, and they mostly suck for Bulls fans.

Rose is pissed at the organization

Perhaps Reggie Rose is correct and Derrick is upset at the organization for not bringing in better players and letting key guys on the bench go. If so, maybe he should re-examine his willingness to recruit guys, but beyond that, this is the worst case scenario for Bulls fans.

Chicago is largely handcuffed for a couple years, and if Derrick is really pissed, they'll have a hard time soothing him in the near future. On top of that, a pissed off Rose is more likely to want to leave for another team.

And finally, if Rose is really not playing because he's pissed about the roster, then deep down he'd join my list along with Vince Carter among the league's historically most selfish, whiny, loser bitches. Quite frankly, I struggle to think of a behavior that's less acceptable than refusing to play because you don't like managerial decision making, particularly when you announce to the world that you're not going to recruit because you're hands off.

I find this situation to be extremely unlikely. I hope it's unlikely. I love Derrick Rose, and I'd hate to think of him in that light, but my love for Rose isn't so great that I'm willing to throw out all standards of behavior just because he's good at basketball.

I don't mind if Rose is pissed about the roster, he has ever right to be. We're all pissed about it. However, if that's the reason he's not playing then he's taking it way too far. Again, I don't think Rose would do that to his teammates though.

Rose is mentally weak

Perhaps Derrick is ready to go, but he's simply scared and can't get over it. He's noted himself that the problems are largely mental while still saying he doesn't feel entirely right with his leg and experiences pain.

If Derrick Rose doesn't have as much mental toughness as Iman Shumpert and Ricky Rubio then we're probably in pretty big trouble. While he'll eventually get over the mental side of this injury, you'll wonder how this will play out in other areas of his career going forward. Mentally weak guys aren't alpha dogs on championship teams.

Rose is legitimately not physically ready to come back

Rose may not be ready to come back because he's simply still feeling too much pain to do so.

While he's still in the official recovery time range for his injury, he's long past the point where most athletes are prepared to play their sport again. If he's still having more physical problems than the next guy at this point, the fear of the injury permanently healing poorly have to come up.

My hope is that when Rose is working out that the trainers / staff working with him are noting whether he's distributing his weight properly as he runs, jumps, and plays. Is he viewed as recovered because his ACL is strong, or is his whole body strong enough and symmetrical enough to play basketball?

If Derrick is compensating to make up for his leg still because he doesn't have balanced even strength then the Bulls and Derrick Rose are probably in trouble. In this case, sitting out is clearly the best decision and his rehab should continue all off-season until he has the proper balance on both sides of his body and can play without compensating.

Still, the fact that he might not be there yet is worrisome.

Rose has unreasonable expectations

He's noted that he wants to come back like "Derrick Rose" and not as a shell of himself. He wants to be 110%, and besides the typical athlete exaggeration here, it's possible (likely?) that he may not come back at 100% ever.

This is probably the best case scenario for Bulls fans as it shows he simply has high standards placed on himself and wants to live up to them. Whether he can or cannot do so we'll only tell through time, but this scenario doesn't pull any negative consequences into the future and only hurts us in the short term.

So what's really going on with Derrick? We have no way to know. I don't know whether it's a good decision for Rose to come back or not, but I do know that Taj Gibson's knee injury isn't relevant. I also know that most of the reasons for the delay don't make me feel warm and fuzzy about Rose's career even if it is the right decision.


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  • I appreciate your insight.

    I hope DRose is not holding out due to roster configuration even if I agree with him and the Bulls have a history of playing it too safe. I do think the Bulls have a steal in Butler and that alone could make us more dangerous than previous team facing Miami with Rose at the helm. Also, stocking Mirotic is a great asset to have.

    However, the management needs to take more chances on legit players.

    Stating that Rose needs to play this season irregardless. He is getting paid 16-17 million to play a game of basketball and the fans pay that salary. Even if we cannot win it all, he should be playing.

    I agree with you - spot on article.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Agree with everything you said. If you're pissed off at your employer -- and a lot of us are at times, probably for good reasons -- you still go to work.

    I get really annoyed at the bashing the FO takes by many of the commenters here but I 100% agree that they need to take more chances. Building championship teams requires taking some risks, especially if your best player is a 6'3" PG who arguably isn't even 1 of the top 5 players in the game.

  • Well said. I came off hard on the Bulls medical staff yesterday, but continue to feel the same way today. Whoever makes these decisions for the Bulls has done a very bad job over the last couple years and should be fired.

    Regardless of the Bulls medical staff's incompetence, Rose's doctors, including the one who performed the actual surgery, have all signed off on him. It is a completely different, and unrelated situation.

  • In reply to Swish14U:

    Medical staffs for the team always seem biased to clear players to get them on the court/field whatever.

    They don't seem to look at long term risks well.

  • Excellent analysis. None of us know what's really happenning, but of all the possibilites, the one about Rose not being physically ready worries me the most. If this turns out to be the case, there will be endless second-guessing of the choice of surgeon (made by Team Rose), rehab-team, etc.

    On another note, I like your "Bulls tweets" tab, and I click on it whenever I visit your site. Could it be updated to include D-Rose, Noah, and others, while removing CJ Watson? Perhaps you could retain Korver as a honorary Bulls because of his all-time great inspirational Facebook post after Rose went down.

  • In reply to BullsC4:

    Good idea, I will fix the link.

  • In reply to BullsC4:

    I posted the doctor decision question before seeing this.

    Are you aware of any reasons cited as to why Rose went with his own doctor as opposed to Dr. Andrews?

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    Not aware of any, though an ACL is a pretty large surgery, so I'm sure that's the type of thing you do your own research on.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I've had both ACLs worked on (right was basketball, left was martial arts), and you're right, you need to be diligent.

    For the first (right knee), I went with who the insurance co. referred me to, and with the second, I hunted around (partly due to having better insurance that afforded me the opportunity). The second surgery turned out to be the much better experience, and my left knee came back to full functionality far faster than my right one did; despite a gap of almost 10 years in age (rehab schedules were roughly equivalent). I credit that solely to the fact that the surgeon I chose was highly regarded (was one of the guys you find cited in the airline magazines).

    This was the reason I asked. Dr. Andrews seems to be THE GUY for orthopedic surgeries in pro sports. For a major sports star to not use him almost seems odd at this point.

    Could be Rose used a doctor that was just as good, just not as famous; and this is all much ado about nothing.

  • Have we discussed Thibs not signing his contract yet, despite the Bulls holding a press conference celebrating it?

    Here's my conspiracy theory:

    Bulls and Thibs were hassling over his contract. The Bulls (obviously didn't want to pay him more) and Thibs (felt he was worth more on the open market) couldn't get a deal done but decided to hold the presser so there would be no distractions on this issue (if you were annoyed with the Rose situation, this would have been just as big if not more because at least Thibs is active).

    Maybe they both decided they would come back to the table after the season with the Bulls waiting to see what Thibs could do with the new team or if his players will tune him out.

    The ESPN Radio guys keep bringing up 'if I had a $16-17mil contract, I would sign it immediately'...but if you knew there was a possible $30mil ($6mil per for 5yrs) market value deal out there, would you sign the deal for that $16-17mil? Btw, LAL and BKN could have coaching vacancies next year.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:


    Funny timing. Maybe your post sparked something??

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    Possibly, but the last time we thought Thibs signed his contract, he didn't...haha.

  • For me having listened to Rose talk about it I would throw out the first senario it just seems too unlikely to be legitimate reason. For me I would say it is either senario 3 or 4 and I am hoping he is just wanting to be 100% but worried he may not be. For me senario 3 is worst case.

  • In reply to Chad:

    If Rose is truly upset with personnel decisions, I would imagine it being letting some of 'his guys' walk, rather than the inability to bring in better talent.

    Look at how stoked Rose seemed during the offseason at having a hand in bringing back Hinrich.

    That said, I agree. I think #3 is the worst option; and becoming the most likely option.

    Does anyone know if it was the organization or Rose that decided not to go to Dr. Andrews for the actual surgery?

  • Was SO hoping I'd get to see D-Rose at the Barclay's Center tonight. Oh well, I'll still be the only guy in the crowd cheering for the Bulls.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Oh there will be more than just you cheering for the bulls.

  • Rose is now mentally weak? He tore his ACL, that's a significant injury. Call me crazy, but didn't the paid professionals who performed Rose's surgery, you know, the doctors, say recovery would be 8-12 months? It's been less than 11. You spent the last three years raving about Rose's mental strength and fortitude, and now you're questioning his toughness? get real. Rose's absence sucks. It sucks for every Bulls fan. But your assessment of his recovery basically illustrates why you, and everyone else questioning Rose's dedication, know nothing about a torn knee ligament. Rose will be back, and when he is you'll forget 2012-13 ever happened. Want to know why? because in 2024 we'll be talking about how Rose one titles, stayed a classy his whole career and did it all on his way to the Hall of Fame.

  • In reply to tylercc1989:

    Finally! A sensible post.

  • In reply to ChuckB34:

    Absolutely agree on this comment, there's no reason for him to rush back and the people who are questioning is mental toughness are doing so for their own selfish reasons which is so sad.

  • In reply to tylercc1989:

    Hope so I don't question his mental toughness or that he is sitting because he dislikes the Front Office. I am worried that he is not right physically and just hope he gets back to or really close to his old form. That is what is scary that he is still sitting and talking about pain when he cuts.

  • Ditto, Spot on analysis.

    While I have never had any problem with Rose sitting out the entire season, my gut feeling was that he would return for some part of this season.

    I have never really thought of Rose as an Alpha dog personality, even if he might have alpha dog talent. Like I've said before, he has some Mama's boy in him. In my experience those guys can still be very successful, but they are never going to be Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant type winners/leaders.

    At this point, I still think that Rose is closer to being a Scottie Pippen level player than he is to being a Michael Jordan level player. It is quite possible if not likely that this injury will prevent him from ever bridging that gap.

  • This article and most comments neglect to mentions what, imo, is the primary reason for Rose delaying his return. Last season Rose was brought back from injury too soon on multiple occasions causing Rose to play injured for the majority of the season. How many recall Rose being brought back from his groin tear to begin readying himself for the 2012 playoffs? It was April 8, 2012 and with Rose clearly less than 100% Thibs (predictably) played Rose 40 minutes in a national TV game in MSG. The result? Rose wasn't able to play the following game.

    Playing with the combined effect of multiple lingering/non-rehabbed injuries likely caused or contributed to Derrick's ACL. The Rose Camp has learned from last season's multiple poor decisions and is taking a more conservative approach which values Derrick's health in the long-term. Why is that so difficult for some to understand?

    Quote from Derrick on March 21, 2013
    "[I want to return] bad," he said. "But knowing my health is the biggest key, where I'm only 24 years old, I've got the whole future in front of me. I'm just trying to take my time."

  • In reply to Edward:

    Got to say, I appreciate Edward's comment. When Bulls fans complain about Thibs playing Deng and Noah too many minutes in the wake of their chronic injuries, and when we worried about Derrick's injuries and playing time throughout most of 2011-12, we were and are expressing fear that Thibs and the medical staff drive players too hard, and don't protect them for the long haul. I don't know what Rose is thinking, but it wouldn't surprise me if he has the same distrust we do. And, as others have pointed out on this thread, it's a distrust that's built into the team doctor/player relationship, since teams are less to lose than players when players get hurt (though this is less true when a team has invested as much as the Bulls have in Rose).

    When he went down with the ACL, I absolutely felt he had been driven past the limit with an array of injuries that had been building all year.

  • This article and most comments neglect to mention what, imo, is the primary reason for Rose delaying his return. Last season Rose was brought back from injury too soon on multiple occasions causing Rose to play injured for the majority of the season. How many recall Rose being brought back from his groin tear to begin readying himself for the 2012 playoffs? It was 4/8/2012 and with Rose clearly less than 100% Thibs (predictably) played Rose 40 minutes in a national TV game in MSG. The result? Rose wasn't able to play the following game.

    Playing with the combined effect of multiple lingering/unrehabbed injuries likely caused or contributed to Derrick's ACL. The Rose Camp has learned from last season's multiple poor decisions and is taking a more conservative approach which values Derrick's health in the long-term. Why is that so difficult for some to understand?

    Quote from Derrick on March 21, 2013
    "[I want to return] bad," he said. "But knowing my health is the biggest key, where I'm only 24 years old, I've got the whole future in front of me. I'm just trying to take my time."

  • In reply to Edward:

    Another sensible post!

  • In reply to Edward:

    He's deluded if he thinks he's got his "whole future in front of [him]". The shelf life for a baller, particularly one who lives on his athleticism, is very short. He's pissing away one of the few seasons he has left at the top.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    That's a sad way to put it, but unfortunately it's true. Quick guards only get so many basically healthy, at the top of their form playoffs. It will be a travesty is DRose misses two playoffs due to an ACL tear.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    If Rose returned this season, no matter when he returned, he was never going to be Derrick the All-Star/MVP. This season was lost for Rose on April 28, 2012, not by any decisions he's made since then.

    After preseason games, then early season games, Derrick will progress into All-Star shape around middle of next season.

    If he returned now he would look like he did in the Miami regular season game on April 12, 2012. Rose knows it (so should all the media and fans), and is smart enough not to put himself in an unwinnable situation.

  • I think it does correlate with Rose, but in the other direction. If Rose had been out there and Taj maybe wouldn't have felt that the team was quite so desperate and wouldn't have rushed back so fast.

  • check that out.. the nets double Bozo on the ball. You can do that when he is playing with 3 guys who couldn't score if their lives depended on it.

  • Amazing game last night! Was fortunate to see it in person and no, I wasn't the only one rooting for the Bulls in their comeback victory.

    The foundation of the Bulls' game was none other than Carlos Boozer, who dominated the game and was the best player on the floor for most of the time he was out there. Bulls out-rebounded the Nets 46-30, and Boozer's 18 were a big part of that. His 28 points came most only jump shots, many of them quite tough, and he was just on last night, hitting an astonishing number of them.

    Nate Robinson has been closing games for the Bulls all season and at this point, he's their best closer. He seems comfortable in the role. While I wouldn't exactly say that I saw him breaking guys down off the dribble to create his own shot, he has an arsenal of shots he can use, and he's not afraid to use them. He reminds me of Ben Gordon just in the role he plays and how he fits into it. His 14 points were all big, and he hit all the key shots down the stretch.

    Jimmy Butler is ready to start. This kid is really something. He looked very comfortable shooting, dangerous even, going 1 for 2 on 3s. We already know that this kid will take it to the net and play tough defense. He only had 16 points but all of them were huge. Where did they find this guy? He's going to be really good.

    Deng is Deng, the gritty tough guy who does just enough to beat you. It really was a typical Deng game with 18 high-effort points 7 rebounds, that's what he does all the time.

    Hinrich is a good player as long as he doesn't shoot too much. Even this game he was 4 of 11 and that's just not going to cut it, though he did hit 2 of 4 3-pointers. He's a good ball handler and floor general and at least hustles on defense, though he couldn't do much about a talent like Deron Williams. I thought they called some bogus fouls on Hinrich, one ridiculously so, and wouldn't discredit him too much for fouling out. But at the end of the day he had 10 points and 6 assists which is pretty typical for him. Still, he's much better than...

    Keith Bogans started for the Nets and played 21 minutes. He had 0 points and 0 assists with 1 attempt, 2 rebounds and 3 fouls. I sat in the stands and drank beer while Bogans played 21 minutes, and I scored as many points and dished out as many assists as he did.

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