In the end, it doesn't matter what Derrick Rose said. It matters what he does. The fact that what he does falls short of expectations so consistently is why fans are upset. The fact that he wouldn't promise not to fall short again just adds fuel to the fire.
Derrick's been through the rehab process a couple times already now for major injuries. He already likely knows he doesn't want to make promises he can't keep. Promises for events that are out of his control.
He didn't do that. Fans love the athlete who makes the guarantee. Every year players on both sides of the ball guarantee a Super Bowl victory. It doesn't mean anything. A player guaranteeing something outside of their control has no value.
Rose could have guaranteed he'd return, but it wouldn't actually make him more likely to return, so he didn't. Does he come off as tone deaf in his interviews? Yes. Is he good with the media? No, he is not.
When asked what Rose thought about management putting out a 4-6 week time line he said he didn't care. When asked about Rose's latest comments I don't care.
However, unlike many who've taken a similar view as the one above to defend Rose and say the plan is that he'll be back and not to panic over his words I feel somewhat the reverse.
I don't care because the odds of Derrick Rose coming back and doing anything noteworthy are almost nil.
I do think he'll likely return to the court this season. However, based on his history it is no lock. He takes much longer to return than other athletes with all of his injuries so far.
However, beyond the will he/won't he play, the point everyone is missing is that his odds of playing well seem really, really small. Dating back to his second year when he returned from a preseason hamstring injury, Rose has always played horribly and taken a long time to find his timing and rhythm when returning from injury.
Hell, he wasn't playing particularly well prior to leaving with this injury. In my mind, the Bulls were desperately running out of time to try and figure out how to improve their play, and Derrick's play was one of the biggest things that needed improvement.
Things were generally on the way up for Rose, but he had a long way to go still. If he comes back with 3-4 games left in the regular season [and history suggests you're nuts to think he ever would return on the early part of a timeline] then there's no way this guy finds his rhythm in time to do something.
This may sound like a personal criticism of Rose, but it really isn't meant to be. It's simply acknowledging what has happened in the past over a sample size of multiple injuries (both large and small) and expecting those results to happen again.
I said this past summer that it was unlikely we'd ever see Derrick Rose consistently play at a high level again, but the Bulls needed to bet on him anyway since there simply was no better bet they could make. I still believe that's true only the odds are even longer now.
There was an interesting article the other day in yahoo sports about Josh Hamilton and whether he violated his treatment program and should be suspended.
I disagree with much of the article, but the part I found interesting was this:
Because here is the truth: If Hamilton weren't a broken-down version of himself – if he were playing at the MVP level at which he was capable of playing – Moreno would spend his every waking moment vouching for Hamilton in public and back channeling Manfred for leniency. That a player's ability could factor into potential discipline is damning, and it's something Manfred must ensure doesn't happen for the sake of his policy's credibility.
We judge players based not on their actions but on how well they play. When they are playing well then we'll overlook almost anything, and when they disappoint us we will rip on them for anything. I'm not immune to this either. We project our view of the performance on to the person.
It's somewhat similar with Rose. Rose has always been a god awful speaker. He's always had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about what he'd accomplish. He said he'd win the MVP then went out and did it. We all cheered.
He said he lives and dies on the court, but the couldn't come back from injury and we were mad. He said doubters would be proven wrong, but hasn't done so. His aura of confidence in himself has been the same and focused on his internal belief and not what others believe.
In the end, all of these things he said came from the same place. A belief in himself, and when he backed it up we were all on his side. When he couldn't then everyone got mad.
Now Derrick has disappointed us two years on the court. I don't blame Rose for this. I don't think he could have done anything differently. I know there are those who felt Rose could have played each of the past two seasons, but watching him play the first two months of this season or prior to last season is enough for me to know he wasn't going to help in either of those playoff runs.
With an extra six months of practice and rehab both times he was still pretty pedestrian when he returned and four months into his return we were still waiting for him to play at a high level.
I'm not mad at Rose for hedging his words. I think he's being pretty honest about the process. I think he expects to return. I think he's doing everything he can to return. I think he knows that there's a chance he may not be able to return.
When he does come back I'll likely be frustrated with his pedestrian play, but I won't doubt that he's doing his best. Injuries have stolen Derrick's career. There's a small chance I'm wrong, and that chance is still the Bulls best bet at a title.
More than likely it's already happened though. It's most likely already too late. We'll just watch the end in slow motion over the next two seasons.
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