The Chicago Bulls won’t give up. When Derrick Rose suffered yet another knee injury early in the 2013-14 NBA season, people thought that all was lost for this Bulls team—but they kept fighting. When the front office decided to trade Luol Deng for Andrew Bynum and then subsequently release Bynum, it seemed like this team’s future was gloomily foretold—but this team is still fighting.
The Bulls sit at 26-25 on the season, largely because head coach Tom Thibodeau has refused to quit on his team and the players, in turn, have refused to quit on this season. Given the lack of healthy bodies on their roster, this is more than likely an ultimately fruitless effort being put forth by the Bulls in terms of postseason success, but that doesn’t make it any less valiant.
Even with their success, though, there’s one eye on the future with this team. There are potential trades to be made before the Feb. 20 NBA Trade Deadline, the question of whether the team will amnesty Carlos Boozer lingering, and several other situations that need to be resolved. However, the most pressing issue continues to be the healthy return of Rose for next season.
Right after the injury this season occurred, people began speculating if the point guard and former MVP would theoretically be able to return this season or for the 2014 NBA Playoffs. While it’s not out of the realm of possibility, the word right now is that it’s not going to happen. In fact, Thibodeau said in an interview with Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago that it’s unlikely that Rose will practice with the team again this season.
While it’s unfortunate that fans don’t get to see Rose for another year, this is the right move by the team to essentially nip any speculation of a return in the bud. Last season as Rose tried to return from a torn ACL, he was absolutely grilled for not returning at all, largely due to the fact that the rumor mill was out of control regarding his return. Now that the Bulls have said he’s effectively done, that speculation is pretty much deadened this season.
There’s still a chance that Rose could return—Thibodeau did add “we’ll see” in his interview in regards to Rose practicing this season after saying it was unlikely—but the team is pretty much shooting down any possibility of that right now. In terms of Rose’s image and the public perception of him and the team, that’s the right move.