It has been a long road back to the hardwood floors for Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Though Rose had been medically cleared to return to NBA action in March, he would not play a single game in the regular season or the playoffs in 2013. In fact, he hasn’t played since April 28, 2012.
Reactions from NBA fans to his prolonged absence ranged from confused to angry to just heartbroken. Rose was the butt of many a joke throughout the playoffs, as fans could not understand why he was not playing if his injury was healed.
Rose just wasn’t mentally ready to return, and one really has to commend both he and the Bulls organization for not succumbing to the pressure and forcing him back too soon. Confidence plays a tremendous role in the game, so it’s doubtful a weary Rose would have put the Bulls over LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
There’s good news, though, Bulls fans. Derrick Rose seems more confident than ever heading into the 2013-14 season. He’s now ready to return, and he’s been expressing it in various ways this offseason.
The superstar point guard showed his confidence during an interview with Pedro Pinto of CNN. Rose was asked who he thinks is the best player in the NBA. He answered, “Derrick Rose.” That’s big talk from a young player who’s missed an entire season of basketball due to a knee injury, but it shows a level of certainty that was previously missing.
Rose extended that confidence to his team, telling Rappler he will not be recruiting any big-name stars to the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2014. His Facebook page was updated on September 23 with a simple message: “My only goal is to win a championship.”
D.Rose has come a ways from the player who wasn’t comfortable enough to return just a few months ago, and it’s quite evident. When he finally steps back onto the court this season, he won’t be looking to just prove he can still play at a high level, he’ll be looking to dominate and end that championship drought in Chicago.
An NBA Championship is a mighty task; however, the Bulls can rest a bit easier with Derrick Rose’s physical health and mental confidence finally aligned.