Derrick Rose, MVP and the super phenomenon of the Chicago Bulls. Everyone loves him, has cheered him on, watched his game-winning moves over and over, and then disaster…major injury. It was a Chicken Little and “The sky is falling” shockaroo. But, the devoted fans crossed their fingers, lit candles and have watched and waited for almost 11 months now, anticipating his return to glory.
Keeping tabs on his recovery, we have seen the progression of his workouts, measured their intensity, weighing in on every word from his doctors and coach, trying to read between the lines guessing how long until his return.
And then, one day, there he is..at a game, sitting on the Bull’s bench with his teammates. He is back…almost.
Flashback: last Wednesday night, Bulls lose to the Sacramento Kings – Ugly.
“They crushed us,” My Sports Guy muttered. “A 42 point loss. Unbelievable. That’s it – it’s time for Rose to get back in the game. We need him now.”
(There are times when he believes that he is the coach.)
“No,” I say emphatically. I don’t want him to come back now." I can’t help it, it’s like I’m thinking of him as a son. "Derrick says he is not ready."
My Guy then brings up a previous scenario…”I thought Robbie Gould was your adopted son.” (see my blog on my similar concern for my Robbie – kicker for the Chicago Bears)
“Yes, of course,” but Robbie is fine and now Derrick is my concern. He doesn’t think that he is 100% mentally ready to play yet.”
And then, I add firmly, “Brenda and I want him to wait – maybe even until next year.”
My Guy gives me that familiar Look. The long stare – the one that translates to “He thinks that I have lost it.”
Then, very slowly he asks, “Who is BRENDA?”
I reply matter of factly, “Brenda - Brenda Rose, Derrick’s real mom.”
“Really?” he replies. “I didn’t know that you knew Derrick Rose’s mother…How did I miss that?”
His sarcasm is annoying, but I continue.
“No, honey, I don’t know her personally.” I give him The Look.
Then, I continue, “I am certain that Brenda and I are on the same page on this one. Derrick and his lovely mother have a very special, strong bond. He has publicly attested to how wonderful she is over and over again and how much she has meant to him all of his life. So, he is her baby and she will not want anybody pressuring her son to get back on that court before he is ready. Period.”
“Besides, I have been in the same exact situation,” I add.
Hearing that, My Guy says nothing, but looks up and raises his eyebrows.
I begin to ramble, “You know when your kid is in Little League, and is pitching and needs to get one more out to win the game, and instead walks in the winning run and loses…OK, OK, maybe it’s not exactly the same thing, but picture this:"
"Our Derrick’s first time back after almost a year and Brenda and I are watching (hell, everyone’s watching), and Derrick marches down the court and he shoots and he misses, or misses free throws, or God forbid, re-injures himself – he is going to be devastated – if he is anything less than stellar."
"Soooo much is going to be expected of our hero – the pressure, the limelight. Brenda and I are going to have knots in our stomachs the whole game."
I realize that that My Guy has walked out of the room and I am talking out loud to no one about my anxious dilemma.
So, now I start to think logically, from a problem solving perspective.
Our Derrick is physically ready, but maybe not mentally sure. Totally understandable. He needs to get his confidence back 100%.
Hmmm, my female mind is racing. We need to get some outside help.
Who Could “Pep Talk” Derrick?
1) Strike this one – I lost my mind for a brief second and thought of calling in Dr. Phil. Then, I remembered that I hate Dr. Phil. What was I thinking?
2) Dennis Rodman: The recently self-appointed good will ambassador to the world. He has declared that he will be the go-to guy for anyone that needs his wisdom and inspiration. A Basketball Guy with way too much confidence. Could be a good fix – but wait, Dennis is in Rome trying to hang out with the new pope…see, how insanely confident is that? OK – he’s unavailable.
3) Michael Jordan: With the expectations that the young D-Rose will follow in Michael’s footsteps as heir apparent to lead the next Bull’s dynasty, Michael (just having turned 50) could definitely provide the needed father/son-like motivation and reassurance. Oh wait, he’s probably too busy making googly eyes with his new fiancé/love, or off playing golf somewhere other than Chicago. Unavailable. Too bad.
4) My personal pick: Joakim Noah. Derrick’s team buddy who has come back from his injury and picked right up where he left off. He is the most animated, exuberant, enthusiastic guy on the team. Did you see him in the All Star Game? A ball of fire. Yep, Joakim is the man. After a couple of beers, he’ll calm all of Derrick’s apprehensions, pat him on the back, tell him how great he is, and get him going with no worries. Within a couple of hours, they’ll be high fiving and Derrick will be calling Thibodeau on his cell to say he is ready to play. Perfect. That will definitely work.
OK, I feel better, with a little help from his friend, Derrick will be getting his mojo back and take us into the playoffs. Go Derrick! Go Bulls!
Note to Derrick:
Just one last thought, if you still have any tiny doubts, maybe your mom and I can take you out to lunch, sit down with you and give you some loving words of encouragement, and motherly hugs…maybe we’ll even invite Oprah…just thinking.