Whether You Like It Or Not, Derrick Rose Remains Key To Franchise

By Brian Neal
Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Can everyone just calm down about Derrick Rose for a few minutes and think about this rationally?

The fact of the matter here is that Rose is going to be a cornerstone of the Chicago Bulls‘ franchise for at least the next three seasons. He’s signed to a max contract through that time, and there’s simply nowhere for him to go. Despite this seemingly obvious point, Bulls fans everywhere are calling for them to just “move on” and not build around him.

Look, I understand. The likelihood of Rose returning from a second major knee surgery and becoming the player that he was with no more serious injuries for the rest of his career is exceedingly slimmer than it once was. It’s unfortunate the situation he’s in, but it’s not his fault.

I’m getting sick of hearing about people chastise Rose as a person as if it was his intention to get hurt. Do you honestly think he doesn’t want to be out there helping his team and represent the franchise and city as the greatest player to walk the United Center hallways since Michael Jordan? Do you think he wants to see this team fall to mediocrity and make the fans sick as they more than likely watch the Miami Heat make their way to the NBA Finals again? Don’t be so ridiculous.

Obviously, as fans, we’re emotionally tied to the situation. Everyone had hopes that Rose would come back brand new and ready to go, but it’s clear that his knees could very well be a problem for the rest of his career. Who knows?

But that’s the key here: No one knows.

He could actually come back and be fine (for at least the rest of his contract). He could come back and play at an All-Star level again and be the hero to Chicago basketball once more. I’m not saying it’s likely, but I am saying that people need to calm down about the situation.

Another thing that’s bothering me is the comparisons to some other guys who have had to call it quits early because of knee injuries. Rose’s predicament is not even close to the same as Brandon Roy or Greg Oden‘s. The former had meniscus problems, but instead of repairing them, he had the cartilage cut out entirely — the opposite of what Rose is doing. His career ended because of that decision, but Rose is repairing it instead and has an extremely high probability of returning with a completely healthy right knee. The latter is just a behemoth of a man who was very athletic, and his knees were destroyed because of that. He had several microfracture surgeries, and none of that is even close to the situation of Rose.

He’s committed to the Bulls and the Bulls are committed to him, and he will be a major part of their plans for at least the next three seasons.

So, you better get used to that fact and if you want your team to be successful, it’s time to start supporting him and hoping that he can actually stay healthy in the future. After all, that’s what fans are for. You don’t throw a guy who gives it his all and cares so much under the bus.

That’s more than just being a poor fan, that’s being un-Chicagoan.

Brian Neal is an NFL and NBA contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianneal23, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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