After Derrick Rose tore his ACL in the 2012 NBA Playoffs it was originally reported that he would be sidelined for around eight months and be able to return to the team sometime after the All-Star Game in late February. However, as the eight-month timetable passed and Rose was not yet anywhere near returning, he suddenly became the dominant topic of the Chicago Bulls. Anything that the Bulls did last year, whether it was good or bad, was still overshadowed by the Derrick Rose saga. Whether it was Luol Deng and Joakim Noah making the East All-Star Team or Chicago losing a game by 42 points to a terrible Sacramento Kings team, the main storyline to surface would always be something surrounding the topic of Derrick Rose and if/when he would return.
As if Rose wasn’t a big enough distraction by just rehabbing and trying to get back in basketball form, his brother Reggie Rose weighing in on Rose’s return made the situation considerably worse. Reggie Rose, who maintains a very close relationship with his brother, also serves as Derrick’s manager. Towards the end of February, around the same time Derrick Rose was initially expected to rejoin the Bulls, Reggie Rose made a very bold statement proclaiming that the Chicago Bulls organization was not doing their part by surrounding Rose with enough quality players to put the team in a position to compete for a championship. To make matters worse Reggie Rose then said that this could play a big factor into whether or not Derrick Rose would return to the team or choose to sit out the entire year.
Not once has Derrick Rose personally spoke up and criticized the organization for not doing their part in putting together a championship run which made Reggie Rose’s statement very controversial. Was he speaking on behalf of his brother or was he stating his own opinion? Regardless, Reggie Rose’s statement blew the whole situation out of proportion and made Rose’s recovery even more of a distraction than it had been before.
However, despite Rose ultimately deciding to sit out the entire regular season the Bulls still managed to finish fifth overall in the Eastern Conference and were set to face off against the fourth seed Brooklyn Nets. With Rose out and Joakim Noah battling a grueling foot injury few people expected the Bulls to have a chance to come out of the series victorious. However, the Bulls were able to prove their doubters wrong and win the series in seven games. And this is where Reggie Rose once again comes into the story.
With the Bulls set to face the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs Reggie Rose once again spoke up and said that there was a good chance that his brother would return for second round. Once again Bulls fans had not heard anything from Derrick himself, but the news came from his brother. After Reggie Rose had come out and said that Rose could potentially return this immediately became the biggest storyline of the series. Before every game the question of “will this be the game Derrick Rose makes his triumphant return” would surface. Anyone who watched this playoff series knows that the answer to that question was no.
The problem here is not that Rose did not return for the playoffs but that his brother publicly made these bold statements. Were the statements on the behalf of himself or Derrick? We do not know, but this trend must stop soon if the Bulls want a chance at the title in 2014. This means that it is either time for Derrick Rose to speak for himself or ask his brother to stop making these statements to the media. Either way, the Bulls need as few distractions as possible if they plan on making a deep run in the playoffs. In order for this to happen Reggie Rose must stay out of the headlines and let his brother handle some of his own business.
Jon Keller is a writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on twitter @jkell2005