Derrick Rose is done. Not for six to eight weeks. Not for the regular season. Not for the playoffs. He’s done. Done, done.
As hard as this is to say, it’ll be even harder for the Bulls, the fans, Adidas and Rose to come to terms with it.
The Return 3? Scratch it off your viewing list. The Derrick Rose we once knew is no more.
Rose was already trying to overcome unprecedented odds in returning to MVP form after a second knee surgery. First, there was the blown ACL in his left knee in 2012. Then came the meniscus tear in the other knee in 2013. Now, another meniscus setback on the right side. These are only the significant injuries he has suffered during his pro career. Rose has a litany of injuriesthroughout his basketball life.
With a 500-count bottle of Advil, the average person can get along with meniscus damage. Not so for an elite basketball player.Healthy menisci are as important to an NBA star as a good pair of gym shoes. They provide the cushion to jump, cut, stop and push through the nine-month grind. An ACL is one thing to overcome; compromised meniscus is a whole other ballgame. Just ask Penny Hardaway, Brandon Roy, Allan Houston, Baron Davis, Grant Hill …
To think that Rose at age 26 can ever return to his 2011 MVP level is absurd. We saw how that went. To think that he can come back, be an average player and give the Bulls 15 to 20 minutes a night is little more reasonable. But that’s not Derrick Rose. He’s not a one-dimensional role player who can knock down jumpers, guard the other team’s best player or go down and bang in the post. Not happening.
From Simeon to the Bulls and from Mean Streets to Memphis, treasure those D-Rose moments.
The beauty of Rose’s game is/was his unparalleled explosion. At his best, D-Rose’s video-game style of play left the other nine players on the floor in pause-mode. With all due respect to LeBron, a healthy D-Rose led Twitter in SMH moments.
You can blame Thibs, the doctors, Skittles, the shoes, this, that or the other thing for the injuries, but the fact is it comes down to genetics. Like fingerprints, every body is different.
Only Derrick Rose and his doctors know what’s going on with his knees. I think Rose gave us a hint of it when he talked about his future after basketball. He knows his body and he knows this isn’t going to last forever much less a full season.
“I’m thinking about long term,” Rose said in November. “I’m thinking about after I’m done with basketball. Having graduations to go to, having meetings to go to, I don’t want to be in my meetings all sore or be at my son’s graduation all sore just because of something I did in the past. [I'm] just learning and being smart.”
Social media, which is always about the present, derided Rose forlooking into the future. People keep reading more into the injury than what’s there, and Bulls fans want more from Rose than he can give.
Ironically, Rose’s most explosive game of the season against the Cavs might have been the one where his knee cried, “uncle.” After that breakout game, Rose took five days off during the All-Star break but missed the first practice back due to what was termed “travel” problems.
When asked about his absence, Thibodeau said, “he’s got a lot going on.”
Maybe Rose knew the harsh reality then, and maybe Thibs did, too. I don’t know. What I do know is everyone from the Bulls organization to the fans and to Adidas is going to feel cheated.
For one moment, though, put yourself in the shoes of Derrick Rose, someone whose entire life has been dedicated to basketball, someone who has entertained us and thrilled us beyond belief.