Derrick Rose is ready to play again. He is expected to play for Team USA in this summer’s 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup after tearing his right meniscus in November 2013 at the place where knees go to die, Portland.
The announcement of Rose’s participation in the World Cup was met mostly with silence. No irrational jubilation. Twitter trolls feel so sorry for Rose fans at this point that they just let it go. This is where we are now with Derrick Rose. Consequently, the future of the Chicago Bulls is shrouded in pessimism. Any Chicago Bulls fans who says they are not nervous about the future is just putting on a brave face. Watching the Miami Heat cruise to the NBA Finals two years in a row while Rose was on the sideline had to hurt. Yet still, it was the Bulls and not the manic Indiana Pacers who were the true roadblock for the Heat in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls are potentially staring down a hole of mediocrity for the next decade – respectable enough to be coined a pesky nuisance, but never a title contender. Kevin Love trades, signing Carmelo Anthony, a happy Tom Thibodeau – none of these hypothetical scenarios matter if Derrick Rose can’t stay on the court and play at an elite level. The Bulls’ roster is not old, but they are being asked to play an absurd amount of minutes simply to make the playoffs – the exact opposite of Gregg Popovich’s approach to managing minutes. Prospective free agents do not want to toil away at that intensity without fair certainty that stability comes packaged with the deal, something the Bulls can’t pretend to offer. Besides, Bulls’ ownership was too cheap to spend money to keep the Jordan dynasty going after the second three-peat.
There are several other issues going on that are just too disheartening to get into as a dude who spend his early childhood years in Chicago.The fact is, the clock is ticking on Rose’s knees. Unfortunately, the situation is becoming reminiscent to that of Anfernee Hardaway and Grant Hill, superstars of the 90’s whose careers were derailed by injuries. I’ll close with the bittersweet compilation of Rose’s MVP highlights.
The party was nice while it lasted.
Featured image courtesy of SoletronFresh/Flickr.