But if the Bulls want their star point guard to ever have his basketball future based in Chicago, then they need to be seriously patient with Rose's recovery.
Even if that means he doesn't play in 2013.
Since sustaining a horrific injury late in the playoffs last year, Rose is yet to feature for the Bulls. And whilst many have been waiting in eager anticipation for his return to the court, the harsh reality is that the star guard may very well not make it back at all in 2013.
His recovery simply isn't going as smooth as they'd have liked, and whilst there is some progress taking place, it isn't as much or as fast as everyone would like to see.
After all, he is the star of the Bulls' team, and had he been back in their rotation this year, Chicago would most likely have had a much stronger year to date.
As it stands, the Bulls sit second in the Eastern Central Division and with the fifth best record in the East. They have winning records both at home and away this year, and have been getting consistent on-court production from guys like Joakhim Noah and Luol Deng.
The Bulls are not completely bereft without Rose.
No doubt he would make their team better—perhaps even a legitimate title threat this year—but even still, Chicago are still a very good team without Rose.
However, the mentality about "if Rose returns, we'll be even better" is one laden with problems and one that needs to immediately shut down by the Bulls.
The thinking that "we're fifth in the East and don't even have our best player" is fine if that player is making an immediate return. But when it's a long-term thing, and one that has mental pressures as well for the player involved, it's not at all a positive environment to come back to.
Chicago mean well, but their pushing for Rose to return from injury and take the court so that they can be better—it's not at all helping his return from injury. It's only harnessing his mental instability even further and delaying his inevitable return to their starting side as a result.
Rose will not return until his "110 percent" ready, and it's hard to see that happening when pressure is being laden on him from every direction at the Bulls.
The finger quickly went up to the temple.
“I think it’s up here now,’’ a Bulls player said late Friday night when asked about Derrick Rose’s return. “I know it’s not [his heart]. We all know that, but he’s ready...he’s ready, man.
“Anyone who saw him in the [five-on-five] scrimmages [last week] knows he’s ready. But it’s his body, so he’s gotta believe it..."
That pressure isn't going to help Rose's return at all.
He wants to support the organization and get back on the court, no doubt, but it's a difficult place to be in when all the club is doing is hindering that process.
I'd like to know who green lit that Adidas campaign promising D. Rose was going to return better than ever ASAP. Talk about pressure.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) February 21, 2013
Chicago is doing the right thing, to an extent, in publicly supporting Rose's place in their team and urging the star guard to return as soon as possible.
Their motives are good; it's just not what the All-Star needs to hear.
The Bulls might be trying to encourage their star, but for an already mentally-fragile, injury-laden, pressure-filled 24-year-old, it's not doing the job.
Chicago need to support Rose by not wanting him back.
Not yet anyway. And certainly not publicly.
Will Derrick Rose return for the Chicago Bulls in 2013?
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