Derrick Rose Says He “Had To Be Selfish”…and He’s Right

derrick rose injured

Here’s a story we all forgot about in the wake of the Aaron Hernandez mess.  Remember Derrick Rose, and his knee injury? Remember how many people were calling him a pussy because he wouldn’t play even after doctors cleared him? Derrick Rose himself has remained largely quiet about the situation, but the other day he finally spoke to team website  BullsTV.com

“I’m not a selfish guy at all. But having this injury and knowing what I had to go through and being smart, this is something I had to be selfish with. I couldn’t worry about anyone else but myself and my health.”

I don’t blame him. As a guy who has had multiple knee/leg surgeries, I can tell you first-hand that doctors don’t always know what the fuck they are talking about. The impending return of Derek Jeter bears that out.

See that giant scar? That's my leg, and it means I know more about recovering from a major injury than the average loudmouth.

See that giant scar? That’s my leg, and it means I know more about recovering from a major leg injury than the average loudmouth.

Let us not forget that back at the beginning of this season, Jeter was also medically cleared to play, but he kept telling his doctors that his surgically-repaired ankle “just didn’t feel right.”  His doctors assured him everything was fine, but after a return trip to the MRI machine, the ankle that was “just fine” was still fractured. Not “tweaked,” or a “little sore,” not even “sprained.”  It was as fucking cracked as the Liberty Bell.

Jeter's ankle: Not OK.

Jeter’s ankle: Not OK.

So, let’s take this from Derek back to Derrick. Rose took a lot of shit from the fans and the media during the Bulls run up to and during the playoffs because he never ruled out a return while the Bulls were incurring more casualties than the Romans at the Battle of Cannae (that’s right…you just got a reference to the Second Punic War in a piece about the NBA).  It didn’t help matters that during the time he wasn’t playing, he was also practicing at full strength and playing well during team drills.

But, let’s be honest. In the immortal words of Allen Iverson, that was “practice.” What it came down to was Rose just never felt comfortable enough to return to game action.

The first reason for that should be obvious, so obvious even a guy like Iverson can figure it out. Practice is not a real game. Practice is with your teammates; guys who aren’t going to throw a hip into you when you are driving the lane. Rose addressed that fact in his comments.

“When you’re in practice, of course it’s not game-like speed unless it’s like training camp. Game-like experience is totally different. You have strategies. You have double-teams. When I play, I get double-teamed a lot. We play the same defense we play in the game so there weren’t any double-teams. I was able to roam around freely.”

Would you like to guess why that matters? Because if the guy if the guy is practicing at full-speed, and says something just isn’t right, then guess what? It isn’t fucking right. Neither is criticizing a guy for protecting both his body and his long-term career interests.  Even though I made a reference earlier to the Roman Empire, we are not yet at the point in America where we simply don’t care about the participants in our sports. We don’t fete the winners with ox-cart led parades, while the losers are enslaved or fed to lions.

derrick rose heat fan meme

It comes down to this. It doesn’t matter if your name is Derek, and the “C” on your jersey stands for “Captain,” or if your name is Derrick and the “C” on your jersey is just the first letter in “Chicago.” Doctor or not, nobody knows one’s own body better than the guy who lives in it.

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4 responses

  1. I’ve disagreed with you in the past about this but I’m not going to get into that now. Whether you trust doctors or not is really a personal issue. The only problem I had with how the whole situation went down was that Rose never came out and said “I’m not going to play this year.” That’s all he had to say and it would have spared us from the misery of playing the waiting game. I’m fine with him sitting out. That’s really up to him. I just thought the way he handled the situation with the media was a mess.

  2. The problem with doctors is that the odds the doctor themselves has had the injury is very low. And you can’t really force them to have it either.

    In the long run it was a good decision to let himself heal. Anything else would have been silly, the Bulls weren’t going to win the Eastern Conference this year anyway…

    To Graham’s point, I disagree because at the end of the day he still works for a franchise that has a product to sell. And let’s be honest – Derrick Rose is that fucking franchise in and out. No questions asked. It would be hard for me to say that he handled it wrong because in a way he kind of just avoided the issue altogether.

    Meehan

  3. I never jumped on the whole “Derrick needs to man up and suit up” bandwagon.

    If he’s not ready, he’s not ready. Ultimately it’s his call. It’s his body and his career.

    I commend him for staying strong and true to his own wishes. Look, if the guy isn’t mentally ready, then why rush back.

    I also commend Chicago for not pushing him.

    He’ll be back next year, at full strength, and that makes the Bulls instant contenders, something Miami can’t be all that happy about.

  4. Of course, what no one is talking about is how well will Derrick Rose play, once he’s back? He could be 100% or much less. We won’t know until then. If its 100%, then we’ll all say that it was good that he sat out the entire season. If he comes back and turns out to be just average, we’ll be saying that he should have come back last season.

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