It looks like the Chicago Bulls will be playing the rest of the 2013 NBA Playoffs without their medically cleared – two months ago – superstar point guard Derrick Rose. After the Bulls closed out the Brooklyn Nets in a game seven on the road Saturday night, rumors began to surface that Rose would attempt to make his return in the second round against LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Those rumors did not last long. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported this morning that Rose had already made his decision not to return at all this year. But the question remains, when will Rose decide to come clean about that decision to the public? Yet another question arises then; why has he continued to lead virtually all of the NBA and its fans to believe he may still come back before this season’s end?
Like he said earlier this year, only God may know the answer to those questions and the public may never know. When Rose finally returns and speaks to the public, my guess would be that his publicity team will give him all of the right words to say on behalf of answering those touchy questions. I would venture to say we will never know the true reason behind this prolonged comeback.
In Rose’s absence, Nate Robinson has flourished into quite the offensive juggernaut. He’s no superstar like Rose, but Robinson has filled in quite well. Aside from Robinson, offense has been fairly hard to come by this year. There has typically been a new guy to step up along with Robinson in every game. Some days it is power forward Carlos Boozer. Other times it is either center Joakim Noah or even guard Marco Belinelli.
In any event, this year’s ups and downs have without a doubt proved two things. First off, the Bulls desperately need their leader back if they are going to make a run at a title. This team will not make it past the Heat without him. Secondly, and I think more notably, this year has proved to be the statement year for head coach Tom Thibodeau.
I guarantee you, if just about any other coach were to be leading this team, they would not be where they are at the moment. This team has been beat up, battered, ridden with sickness as of late, and in no way should they be finding themselves in the second round of the playoffs right now. The main reason they are moving on is because of the leadership and coaching Thibodeau has brought to Chicago. He has preached toughness and effort nonstop; two obvious aspects of the game, yet “Thibs” gives them both a whole new meaning.
Moving back to the topic at hand, Rose looks like he indeed will forego the rest of the postseason. The rest of the year should be a fun ride as the Bulls try everything they can to get past Miami, but more than likely they will find themselves back to the drawing board in five or six games.
So many questions. So many emotions. So many accusations, critiques, and shouts of blame coming from around the sports world. How will this all end? Will Rose and his teammates eventually ride off into the sunset with a championship ring in 2014, 2015 or anytime in the near future? Or will this injury continue to haunt him and drag on through his young career, preventing him from truly getting back to who he was?
At this point it seems as though the problem is mental strength. He’s added 15 pounds of muscle, a of couple inches to his vertical, and appears faster than ever to those watching him in practice. Whatever it is that is holding him back, those fans in Chicago better pray the mental chains are broken and their beloved hometown star returns better than ever in 2014.