Derrick Rose Is Saving Career and Bulls' Future by Maintaining Patience
In an article by Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com:
Rose said he isn't sure when he'll return to the floor.
"I really don't know," he said. "I'm feeling good, but like I said, if it's where it's taking me a long time and I'm still not feeling right, I don't mind missing this year."
"I don't have a set date," Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday in his first extensive interview since the 2012-13 NBA season began. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready."
The last thing an athlete in any sport at any level needs is to return physically unprepared.
This holds especially true for the NBA, because the impact of one star player has a strong hold of a franchise's future. Rose was taken No. 1 overall in the 2008 NBA draft and the Bulls have made the postseason each year of his young career.
Prior to Rose getting selected, Chicago had made only three playoff appearances from the 1998-99 campaign through 2007-08. The Windy City never made it further than the Eastern Conference semifinals in that span.
Enter Rose and the Bulls reach the conference finals in just his third season.
Fast forward to this season and it's clear Chicago would be among the NBA's elite with a 100 percent Rose. Currently sporting a 30-22 record and holding the No. 5 spot in the east, the Bulls are obviously playoff caliber.
How will the Bulls' 2012-13 regular season finish?
But minus Rose are the Bulls NBA Finals caliber?
Without question he does need to become fully healthy as well, which takes us back to him and the organization remaining patient.
Rose is only 24 years old and Chicago has provided solid talent and depth to compete for an Eastern Conference title. Risking all that by attempting to come back sooner than later; however, would put everything in jeopardy.
The worst-case scenario—meaning not getting back to his normal self—was addressed after Rose was injured in an article by Scoop Jackson of ESPNChicago.com last April:
Josh Howard, who suffered an ACL tear in 2010, knows the battle Rose is up against.
"One, the hardest thing is getting over the mental part, knowing that it could be a career-ending injury," Howard said. "And trusting yourself and your body to do the things that you used to do."
Watching Rose over the past few seasons was nothing short of literally amazing.
His acceleration, top speed, vertical jump and shear athleticism wowed opponents and fans all over. That said, there's a different reality now and no questions can be answered until Rose makes his return.
Whenever that may be, his career and the Bulls' future will still be at stake. It's simply better to be patient now, as opposed to chancing potential All-Star selections and NBA Final appearances down the road.
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