My original D-Rose injury column for RedEye, 4-28-2012, and other stories

My original D-Rose injury column for RedEye, 4-28-2012, and other stories

April 28, 2012, Saturday afternoon. The Bulls were polishing off the 8th seeded Philadelphia 76ers in a Game 1 playoff win when Derrick Rose knifed into the lane and blew out his knee.

Watching at home with my computer up, I flipped up a blank Word Doc and banged out a column. I did one revision and sent it to my sports editor at RedEye.

However, less than an hour after I filed the column, Rose was announced as out for the remainder of the postseason. So I wrote a new column Saturday night, and that's what ran online Sunday. A shorter version ran in print on Monday. (See below.)

The original column never ran anywhere. In fact, I completely forgot about its contents (and mostly forgot about its existence) until realizing today was the year anniversary of Rose's injury. (My boy BC's take on that day.) And so below is the original column I wrote following Derrick's injury back when we thought he might return for our sure-to-happen second round series with the Celtics.

C'est la vie.



For RedEye


Jack M Silverstein

2nd draft started April 28, 2012, 3:33 PM

2nd draft finished 3:39 PM [351]


The best teams have bodies.

Fast, nimble, streaking. Rippling, surging, scoring. Bodies swarming until you don’t know what day it is. That’s what makes this Bulls team special. A wave of them, all at once.

There’s Joakim Noah collecting a rebound at the top of the key, looking for an option and realizing he’s it. A dribble, two steps, and a dunk.

There’s Rip Hamilton, ducking between defenders and leaning in for bankers. And then Kyle Korver, swooping around screens, big hands receiving a pass, legs beneath him, torso unswerving. Release. Splash.

There’s Luol Deng with arms to the Sudan, and Omer Asik collecting boards and swatting shots, and Taj Gibson’s wide mouth and ferocious eyes, and Ronnie Brewer eliminating passing lanes with speed and grace.

The Bulls have bodies. They win games because their best player is better than your best player, because their starting five is better than your starting five, because their second five is better than your second five, because their 12th man is more valuable than your 6th.

And with 1:10 remaining in Saturday’s Game 1 victory over Philadelphia, the Bulls’ best player was reduced to a helpless body on the floor, hands clutching his knee, teeth grimaced, eyes shut, ears serenaded with the chants of “MVP! MVP!” from the lips of the fans in the stands.

It was a simple play, a typical example of the man’s subtle brilliance. With the floor spread and Noah coming to set a screen, He took a stutter dribble at the three point line, pounded the ball hard on his left, swooped to the right with a jump-step, and twisted his left knee on his return to the floor.

His body lifted skyward but his knee was shaken, and he dumped a pass to Carlos Boozer before hobbling to the ground and laying on his side.

And when he was finally assisted off the floor and off the court, walking gingerly arm-in-arm with two Bulls trainers, the Bulls’ most dangerous, beautiful, worrisome body was back in the spotlight. Rest well, Derrick Rose. Hope to see you soon.


RedEye sports

DERRICK ROSE INJURY COLUMN. (not sure about headline, obviously)

By Jack M Silverstein

350 draft started April 29, 2012, 12:42 PM

350 draft finished 12:47 PM [351]

Final draft finished 12:54 PM [347]


Well that sucked.

For so many reasons, and for so many people, starting of course with Derrick Rose, who in one foul misstep was stripped of his livelihood. Think of it: 23-years-old in the throes of your passion and atop your profession, and then snap – all gone.

Not for good, of course, but for a while, and definitely for the remainder of this postseason. When word came back that Rose’s scary knee injury at the conclusion of Game 1 was a torn ACL, I felt sad for this man so hungry for greatness. More than anywhere else, my thoughts are with the displaced Rose.

As for the remainder of my emotions, this is an odd position for a sports fan. What does it mean to be a fan of a team? Despite the positive energy put forth by Rose’s teammates and the #WinItForRose Bulls fans, how would fans really feel about this team winning a ring without this player?

I don’t mean to suggest that you shouldn’t continue supporting the Bulls or that you’re wrong for wanting them to win a title even without Rose. I’m simply asking because it’s something I have not yet sorted out in my own saddened, Bulls-loving heart.

This isn’t about doubting the collective talent of players 2 through 13; if any team is equipped to roll without its superstar, it’s the Bulls.

This is about a man who should be there when the deed is done.

Even if this team has carved its niche as The Team That Can Win Without Its Star, its true identity includes Rose as its leader. The heartwarming scene of the Bulls handing their injured captain the Larry O’Brien Trophy notwithstanding, a Bulls championship without Derrick Rose would feel incomplete.

But this is our team, and we move forward. As Kyle Korver wrote to the fans online, “We are going to keep going strong. One quarter, one game, one round at a time. Until it’s over. That’s how we gonna do it.”

Spoken like a Rose prodigy. I just wish the mentor was there too.


Lastly, here is my column for yesterday's stunning Game 4 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. And if you haven't seen my Fan Cam series yet, check it out!




Game 4: JOSCAR DEMBY (coming tomorrow)

Enjoy your Sunday!



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