Derrick Rose Must Give Definitive Answer on Return to Salvage Reputation

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIMay 5, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 25: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls watches as his teammates take on the Brooklyn Nets in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 25, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Nets 79-76. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose will not return during the 2013 NBA Playoffs. As fate would have it, however, Rose has kept his ambiguous stance on the issue and failed to provide a return date.

If he hopes to salvage his reputation, it's time Rose gives the world a definitive answer.

In Wojnarowski's previously alluded to article, he claims that the statements made by Rose have been false. While the 2011 NBA MVP maintains his stance that he is uncertain as to when he will return, Wojnarowski's sources claim a decision has been made.

D-Rose will not return.

"Who knows?" [Derrick] Rose told reporters hours on Saturday. "It's still up in the air."

Who knows? Derrick Rose knows. His choice has been made to sit out the season and it includes no provisions for turning back, sources with direct knowledge told Yahoo! Sports.

As of May 5, it's been 372 days since Rose tore his ACL.

The Bulls are in the midst of a magical postseason run in which they've already upset the Brooklyn Nets in seven games. In that time, Chicago overcame the absence of Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich, and Joakim Noah battled plantar fasciitis.

Up next is the Miami Heat.

So why isn't Rose back? Why didn't Nate Robinson's magical Game 4 inspire him to return already?

It's more complex than you think.


Empathizing with D-Rose

In early March, a team source revealed that Derrick Rose had been medically cleared to return from his previously torn ACL. Roughly two months later, Rose has yet to return and the NBA community is growing restless.

According to Rachel Nichols of TNT, the issue is muscle memory (via ESPN Chicago).

"I was able to speak with Derrick off-camera a couple days ago, and he's telling me how badly he does want to be out there, but he says that he just doesn't have the muscle memory back, is the way he put it," sideline reporter Rachel Nichols said during the network's coverage of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Nichols also said that the lack of muscle memory is affecting the way Rose's knee feels and the way he shoots, and that until his body can react without him thinking about it, he doesn't want to be on the court and unsure of himself.

Let's explain.

When Rose attempts a jump shot or leaps off of one leg for a lay-up or dunk, he's not yet comfortable with the way his knee feels. This results in doubt entering his mind every time he attacks, which thus improves his chances of tensing up and aggravating the injury.

Until that doubt is clear from his mind, there is no reason for him to return and risk further harm.


Not About the Return

When it comes right down to it, the world has no right to be upset with Derrick Rose for not returning yet. No one knows how his body is reacting to the workouts he's taking part in except for Rose himself.

With that being said, there is one issue that the world can get upset with: Rose's unwillingness to provide a definitive answer.

There is no question that D-Rose has elevated his game into the ranks of the NBA's elite, both as a player and off-the-court personality. His rise to fame has seen him overcome the odds, as he won the 2011 NBA MVP award and has become one of the faces of the league.

Even as it was revealed that Rose had someone else take his SATs in high school, public opinion remained favorable.

A major reason for Rose's popularity is the fact that he's remained humble and honest as a basketball player and celebrity. Rose even told GQ Magazine that he's uncomfortable dealing with the trials and tribulations of fame.

When it comes to returning from an injury, however, fans and analysts have been none too understanding.

Even if Rose has a reason to remain sidelined, it's imperative that he opens up on the reality of the situation. Whether he rules himself out or provides a definite return date, Rose must acknowledge the demands of the NBA community.

To put it simply, Rose is better off claiming he will not return and surprising us all than leaving it all up to chance.