Game 7 is just twenty minutes away from tip-off between the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls. The injury report for Chicago right now has Derrick Rose out (obvious), and Nate Robinson (flu), are out tonight. Taj Gibson (illness) and Kirk Hinrich (left calf) are both game-time decisions.
Derrick Rose has been out for more than a year. He was cleared to practice at the end of January and cleared to play on March 9th.
He’s said in several interviews that only god knows when he’ll return, or that he’s not comfortable yet. He’s not mentally prepared. He’s looking at the big picture. So on and so on.
His Bulls are about to play Game 7 in Brooklyn in what could be their last game of the entire season. They’re playing away, they’re undermanned and their active players are almost all dealing with injuries or health issues. Nate Robinson was seen throwing up on the bench in Game 6 and then came back out and gave it his all. Joakim Noah is playing with plantar fascitis. They’re banged up but they’re continuing to play.
Derrick Rose most recently said he won’t go out until he’s comfortable and that he’s looking at the big picture of things. I wonder what he really means by that. I can’t imagine Kobe Bryant saying he’s not going till he’s comfortable, nor Lebron James doing that. Superstars are supposed to want to come out and play for their team. Derrick Rose may be thinking of his career in the longterm but he isn’t going to get injured if he comes out tonight. He’s not going to suffer a setback or re-tear his ACL if that’s even possible. The worst that would happen is him coming out and after a few minutes saying, “Coach, I can’t do it. Take me out.” He’s talking like he’s going to cause damage to his body by coming out and playing one game. He’s been playing hard in practice with the team for two months. For all we know he’s been himself for two months, this whole mental aspect of things will go away once he gets on the floor and plays. His team is going to fuel him throughout. If he steps on the court his teammates will provide him with the energy he needs to keep going. He’s thinking of the worst when he’s not even considering the best. The best could be winning a Game 7 on the road and realizing he’s okay and pushing his team further in the playoffs.
If he were to play and he’s not the Rose we’re used to, as long as he contributes half of what he normally does he can push Chicago to the 2nd round. Then he gives his teammates more time to rest up and get past their illness and their injuries and if he doesn’t want to play in the next round that’s ok but at least he would’ve willed them to the next round where they have a full roster.
We all understand that he’s a professional athlete and his body is his all, but sports has always and will always be team before player. What ever happened to the saying, ‘there is no I in team.’ Half of his team is injured and sick but they’re playing for each other. Derrick Rose is the leader of the team yet watching his teammates sacrifice for success while he sits on the bench and claps every other play. It’s time to get over the dramatics and man up. He has that warrior gene within him. We all know that, he’s a hard worker and an MVP but it’s time to bring the beast out of hibernation. It’s summertime for god’s sake.
#TheReturn is getting old. Pull a Willis Reed and come back. It’s time.