The 2012-13 Derrick Rose saga continues, as the Chicago Bulls now look ahead towards Saturday night when the team begins its' playoff run in Brooklyn against the Nets. Unfortunately, the story the second half of the season has not been about the injury-plagued Bulls battling and earning the fifth seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference. Instead, fans and media have been on the Derrick Rose watch, as everyone waits, wondering when the young superstar might once again take to the court.
Thankfully, the buzz around Rose's return has subsided a bit in weeks past, but the question remains: when will Derrick Rose return? No one from the Bulls or Rose's camp has said anything to hint that No.1 will or will not play during the playoffs, and so the guessing and waiting game continues.
I am disappointed in Rose. Not because he has not yet returned, and not because his presence on the court will translate into success for the Bulls. I am disappointed in Derrick Rose because I thought he was smarter than he clearly is.
No one should fault Rose for putting his own interests high above any other factor of his return. He should be doing what is best for him personally, not the Chicago Bulls, the fans, or the media. I would not argue his inability to play thus far again makes him weak. However, Rose's complete indecision is what makes me lose respect for him, and question the way this city has previously viewed him.
I am disappointed in Derrick Rose because today is April 19, and no one has a clearer idea of when Rose will return than we did six months ago at the onset of the NBA season. The smart decision would have been for Rose to announce weeks ago that he would not return until next year. That is, and has been for some time now, the only acceptable outcome of this season-long headache. Such an announcement would have benefited the team and the fans, as well as Rose himself.
If such an announcement had been made, the team would have been rid of the constant pestering of the media. Likewise, whatever silent questions about Rose's process that individuals within the Bulls organization have would have been answered. Rose himself would have be able to once again focus solely on his rehab, instead of massaging the media and keeping the door open for an ill-planned return in the playoffs. Lastly, and certainly least, the fans and media would be aware of the true plan, allowing them to deal with it, get over it, and watch the Bulls this year, forgetting about Rose until October.
For anyone who still wants Rose to return to the court, I ask: why? How will he or the team benefit in any substantial way from a last ditch effort to play again before the season's end?
Rose playing for a handful of games before sitting again for six months does little, as I can see, to help his rehab. Certainly such a return would not help the team, as Rose will need time on the court to work his timing, speed, transition, and game in general back, up to "Derrick Rose standards." All this as the team will be attempting to win playoff games. An unpolished Derrick Rose can hardly be considered an asset to the Bulls at this point, and a few games played cannot seriously help him going into next season's true return.
The tough choice, the respectable choice, for Rose would have been to announce he would not return this season two weeks ago. Unless Rose really thinks he might be capable of leading the Bulls on a playoff run this year, there is no rational reason for him to bother taking the court this season. Instead, he perpetuates the waiting and wondering with short, almost Urlachian, responses such as "I don't know," "Maybe," and "Only God knows."
Spare me. A great leader would've bowed out by now- once the continuance of the conversation started hurting both the team and his own image. If Rose felt good enough play, he would have been by now, so he must be clinging to some irrational hope he has within himself of returning this season. When that has clearly, and by his own admission, not been supported by how his body feels, that makes Rose look stupid.
I am not pretending to claim he is an unintelligent man, but in what must be an extremely emotionally-trying time, he is letting his emotions get the best of him. Logic says that Rose either should have returned weeks ago, or should have called it quits till next year. Perhaps Rose simply wants to make sure that his name stays in the spotlight during this season as long as the Bulls are playing. Perhaps Rose has an unhealthy chunk of NBA Diva alive inside of him after all. That would be disappointing.
Each day that passes is another that inflates my disappointment in Rose. Each day that he doesn't announce he will not return until next year is another catastrophe. At this point, Rose is clearly not helping anyone, and I once thought he was smarter than that.
I look forward to cheering for Rose once he does return, but until something (Championships?) lure me into forgetting all about this season, I will always remember his mishandling of this return from injury.