I live in Chicago and have become sickened by the way my city has treated Derrick Rose over the past couple of months.
Did everybody forget that fast what he has done or what kind of person he is? What's with the name calling, manhood questioning and poor photoshopped images flying around social media?
In case you needed a reminder, let me give it to you: Last season Derrick Rose fought through back spasms, a turf toe, a pulled groin and a foot issue that was most likely plantar fasciitis.
He was knocked to the deck, grieving in pain and aching on a daily basis.
All of those injuries were capped off with the granddaddy of them all: a torn ACL in the first game of the playoffs last year.
What gives people the right to question a player who has done nothing but lay it all on the line day in and out. Did I miss something? Was there a soft, lackadaisical attitude from Rose that I missed?
He didn't listen to his body last year and look where it got him and the Bulls: A severe knee injury and a lost shot to redeem themselves against the Miami Heat.
Rose has decided, at the age of 24, that he will listen to what his body tells him to do. He has decided his long term success is far more important to himself, the Bulls and Chicago. Yet, the fans have turned on him.
It started with Rose being medically cleared. It was a huge mistake by the franchise to let that news slip out because it gave hope to Bulls fans everywhere. He was expected back within weeks, and fans became upset and frustrated when it didn't happen.
I get it: I'm frustrated too. We all want to see him on the floor but lambasting him will not help.
His brother, Reggie Rose, added gas to the fire, but just like when a judge tells a jury to ignore an obscene outburst, fans need to ignore Reggie.
Then there was Adidas, right? We got hyped by those "The Return" commercials and it got us all excited, only for us to sit and wait...and wait. I blame Rose and the Bulls for having a poor PR team but not for staying off of the court.
There is no real comparison to Rose right now. By now, we all know the two common comparisons to Rose and his injury: Adrian Peterson and Iman Shumpert.
However, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings plays a completely different sport and doesn't have to play three games in a week or deal with traveling. Yes Peterson is a freak of nature, but it's still apples to oranges. Iman Shumpert of the Knicks is a role player who is not leaned on nearly as much as Rose would be.
"Look what Joakim Noah did," is what I hear from people. Noah hasn't played a full season since coming to the Bulls back in 2007. Maybe he should listen to his body more.
"How can Rose sit there and let his teammates struggle without him?" That's another popular question in Chicago. What's the point of adding another player not fully ready? It just makes a bad situation worse and doesn't get you a NBA Championship.
Now Rose has taken the stance that he will return when he body says he's ready. You don't think those past injuries come into play with his stance? You don't think, in the back of his mind, that he feels this injury happened because of those prior injuries?
None of us—and I mean none of us—know what it is like to go through what Rose did last year, tearing his ACL, working to come back and then having to make the tough choice of whether to play in the NBA Playoffs against the defending world champs.
You can't empathize with Rose, so don't blame him. It's not the same as coming into work with the flu or fighting through a twisted ankle during a pick-up game at the YMCA.
Give the man the benefit of the doubt. There is a difference between wanting to see him on the court and chastising him for not doing so when you want.
When he returns to the court, whether it be in the 2013 NBA Playoffs or at the start of the 2014 season, he deserves to be cheered and respected by the fans he works hard for. He has earned that much.
We know this much: The name calling, finger pointing and poor jokes aren't getting him back any sooner, so let's just cease and desist the nonsense and enjoy what this current team has done.
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