As Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose continues to rehab his torn ACL, there has been wide speculation as to when the former MVP will be back in action. While reports have ranged from an optimistic January return to as long as the entire season, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf weighed in on the matter during a radio appearance on ESPN 1000’s “Talking Baseball” show Saturday.
“I’m not going to let him come back until the doctors tell me that it’s absolutely safe for him to come back,” Reinsdorf said. “I made that mistake with Michael Jordan years ago where I think we let him come back too soon. It worked out OK, but it might not have. This time I’m not going to make that mistake. Until the doctors say he’s 100 percent and they put their reputations on the line, he’s not coming back.”
Hearing Reinsdorf compare Rose to Jordan is a positive sign for Bulls fans, considering the owner’s unwillingness to invest in a team that isn’t a title contender. The Bulls will pay the luxury tax this year for the first time in the team’s history, despite a lackluster offseason. Despite trade rumors surrounding the 2012 NBA Draft, Chicago ultimately opted to keep the core in tact, while replacing the “Bench Mob” that had helped lead the Bulls to the best record in the NBA last season. The replacements: Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli, Nazr Mohammed and draft pick Marquis Teague. Not terrible, but not players that put the team in a better position to compete for a title.
Despite the loss of Rose, the Bulls will likely be playoff bound in the weaker Eastern Conference. But with several teams upgrading in free agency and through the draft as well as the Miami Heat looking more dominant than ever, the Bulls could be stuck in “basketball hell” until greater changes are made.