- Steve Mitchell- USA Today Sports Images
The Chicago Bulls host the NBA Champion Miami Heat in the NBA’s opening-night game. The best player in the league will most likely be in uniform. No, not Derrick Rose. It’s most likely LeBron James, the reigning MVP, who will be suiting up. Derrick Rose’ status remains a question mark as training camp is set to open. Derrick Rose can claim to be the best from the sidelines all he wants but will he be ready to prove it by suiting up in October?
For that to happen, Derrick Rose will need to regain his confidence and shoulder the scoring load because the Bulls desperately need it. The Bulls lacked a leader and proven scorer in the playoffs but could correct that effectively with Rose back in the starting lineup. Rose will also need to display this new dimension of his game he’s been touting. Rose says he will be an improved player if and when he returns, but that remains to be seen.
Like many of you, I thought Derrick Rose would come back and help the Bulls in their playoff series against the Miami Heat. But as the season closed, so did the window for a return. Sources, teammates and coaches all confirmed Derrick Rose was cleared and ready to go. But Derrick balked and felt he wasn’t mentally ready. The Heat would go on to win that series and ultimately the title, all with Rose watching from the bench. For this playoff rematch to have some teeth, the Bulls will need Derrick Rose to get his mind right and play.
Frankly, I don’t know what to make of Derrick Rose sitting out. He claims to be the best in the league but has not played any game minutes in over a year. Rose may not be ready mentally, and there’s a legitimate chance he may never be again. I doubt Rose can match the explosiveness he was known for before tearing his ACL, will he be able to lead the Bulls in another playoff run?
All of Chicago can only watch, wait and hope.