When the Chicago Bulls announced that Derrick Rose suffered a torn right meniscus on Friday night and will soon be having surgery, there is no doubting that basketball fans everywhere were quietly mumbling to themselves if the point guard will ever be a star player again. And while some will undoubtedly say that these people are ignorant to modern science and recovery techniques, there are a number of reasons why he will never appear in an All-Star game again.
For one thing, Rose only returned from a torn ACL in his left knee at the start of the 2013-14 season, and was undoubtedly playing his worst since entering the league in 2008. In terms of statistics, this drop came to the tune of a 4.9 decrease from his career points per game average, 2.5 assists per game, 0.6 rebounds per game and an increase of .5 in turnovers per game.
This drop did not make him a bad player, but was enough to drop him down from a top point guard to the ranks of the league average.
While just looking at this decline prior to the meniscus tear would be enough to make one cringe at the future for Rose, watching him play prior to the injury only made things worse. No longer was he a guy that could beat any player simply by out-running them or twirling around like a ballerina with the basketball in his hands, but the desire to get by opponents was seemingly sapped as well. It seemed as if the point guard was tentative to show that he could even dunk the ball, and another knee injury will likely only worsen this mental block.
Rose will have anywhere from 2-4 months to think about his two knee injuries before being expected to return to the court. But as we have found out from the previous knee injury, the point guard is not conventional in his comebacks and could very well be done for the year. The Bulls have already left the door open to this possibility, indicating that the recovery time frame from the meniscus surgery is indefinite.
As with previous star players such as Yao Ming, Bill Walton and Grant Hill, the length you wait to return to the court is sometimes meaningless. This is because no matter how athletically gifted one might be, they are ultimately reliant on their body holding up throughout a rigorous 82-game schedule, and hopefully another 20 games in the postseason.
Unfortunately, not every player’s body is meant to handle this physical test, and a number of players fall into the ‘could have been’ category as a result.
One must wonder how Rose could not be placed there after suffering back-to-back knee injuries and being sapped of his athleticism in the process. When it is considered that the point guard has apparently also lost his mental edge as well, it begins to become impossible to see any way in which he reverses course to become a star player in the NBA ever again.