The Chicago Bulls won't advance far in the playoffs without Derrick Rose. They might not even advance far with him, but the possibility of seeing their superstar back on the court keeps Bulls fans hoping against hope.
So why hasn't this hope come to fruition?
The lasting image of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant sinking two free throws then walking off the court with a ruptured Achilles has to sting if you're a Bulls fan. Kobe Bryant is old school. He is an aging player who refused to reduce his minutes and did everything he could to help his team reach the playoffs.
Conversely, I suppose Derrick Rose would be new school. He is a young player who has refused to take the court to help his team in their playoff quest.
If I had my druthers, I would choose old school.
In the end, I suppose it didn't work out so well for the old school guy, but you have to respect his courage and guile. We, as sports fans, love to root for the guy who leaves it all on the gridiron, the court, the ball field, etc. It's just a bit difficult to continue to heap plaudits on an athlete who has been medically cleared to play for close to two months now.
So why isn't Rose playing? And better yet, why aren't the Bulls putting more pressure on him to do just that?
If I owned a company and was paying an employee workman's comp for an injury, and I knew he was healthy enough to work again, I would certainly expect him to return to work.
And why doesn't Derrick Rose want to return to work? That is the most puzzling aspect of the situation. One would think Rose is a competitor. We're on the eve of the playoffs. It's the time all elite athletes step up their game and their competitive drive.
Premiere athletes ultimately are judged on the titles they win. The window to win titles is relatively small, so it is ultimately very surprising that Derrick Rose would choose to skip a season in his quest to leave his legacy in the NBA history books.