Phil Jackson Publicly Defends Derrick Rose Following Missed Season

Alex KayCorrespondent IMay 23, 2013

It seems everyone has an opinion on Derrick Rose’s missed 2012-13 season, and legendary coach Phil Jackson is the latest to add his two cents into the mix. 

According to the staff of ESPN Chicago, Jackson appeared on the Mike & Mike in the Morning show on Wednesday and briefly spoke about the Chicago Bulls superstar:

Leave him alone. This is a guy who hopefully ... still has another 10 years to play. Let's not put him in under duress that may not be the right time.

He needs to have a training camp and go through the process of gearing up for another season the right way.

The defending champion Miami Heat eliminated the Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinals more than a week ago, a series in which Rose endured much criticism for not suiting up and helping his teammates.

It was more than a year since D-Rose initially tore his ACL in the first game of Chicago’s ill-fated 2012 playoff run, but the point guard refused to come back earlier than he was comfortable with.

Some strongly felt that because the 2011 NBA MVP was cleared to play by team doctors back in early March, he was being selfish by not putting on a uniform.

Rose left the door open for a possible return until the bitter end. Speculation ran rampant because he declined to officially rule himself out, and insider sources alleged that he contemplated a comeback before opting against it.

Iman Shumpert—who suffered the same exact injury on the same exact day as Rose last year—returned to the New York Knicks lineup in January and was used as one of numerous examples of players who were able to return without missing a full year after tearing an ACL.

However, the Zen Master believes the two situations aren’t as comparable as some would think (as per ESPN Chicago):

I think Shumpert had the injury almost at the same time and almost the same injury, but it's a totally different person. Shumpert has been in and out of the lineup and he had some situations with it. But he's also a guy that's not the franchise guy. 

Jackson certainly knows a thing or two about franchise players, as he presided over the Bulls dynasty when Michael Jordan led the club to six titles in eight years. Jackson then added another five titles with Kobe Bryant—and Shaquille O’Neal, to a lesser extent—as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Regardless of the varying opinions on the issue, the fact of the matter is that D-Rose missed the entire 2012-13 campaign. It’s over and done with.

No matter how much talk or opinion flies about this offseason, nothing is going to change the simple truth that the superstar point guard did not suit up for his own reasons in the regular season or playoffs.

The only thing left for Rose to do is block out the noise, concentrate on getting up to 100 percent for the 2013-14 season tip and try his hardest to win another MVP trophy.