Derrick Rose Says Sitting Out Last Season Was 'Smartest Decision I've Ever Made'

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2013

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Still upset about Derrick Rose sitting out last season? Get over it.

The Chicago Bulls point guard took a lot of grief for not playing last year. A real superstar would've played. He was a coward, a quitter and a fraud. 

Now, he's a man alive. Forget about last season. Remaining on the sidelines was the best thing Rose ever did, apparently. 

"For sure, for sure," he told ESPN's Michael Wilbon during SportsCenter's Sunday Conversation. "I think that's the smartest decision I ever made."

No arguments here. Well, actually, I have one. I still think he should have pulled the David Lee and returned during the playoffs, even if only for a minute, to give the Bulls a much-needed "morale boost."

But what do I know? Rose has come back ready to play, and then some. Through seven preseason games, he averaged 20.7 points and five assists while shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc.

Yeah, that's right. Rose can shoot now, even though he says he's not a shooter.

"People always say, 'You're shooting the ball better,' and all that," he said. "I could care less. I'm not a shooter; I'm a scorer."

During the preseason, he looked like both. And that was on top of him adding five inches to his already impressive vertical, according to ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell.

All things being equal, taking extra precautions last season is paying off now. The Bulls still won 45 games without him. They still made it to the second round of the playoffs despite an alarming number of serious injuries. There's no guarantee Rose's return back then would have spurred anything other than a similar fate.

Entering 2013-14, however, Chicago's ceiling is significantly higher. Rose is back, and so too is the Bulls' offensive life. In Rose, they have a healthy superstar, someone to take the last shot with the game on the line.

Someone who is once again fearless.

"I might miss five threes, seven threes," Rose explained to Wilbon. "For sure, I'm going to take that eighth three, ninth three, 10th [three]—I'm going to take it. Because I know how hard I work in the gym; I know what I put into my game and my craft. I'm going to take that last shot no matter what."

One season-long absence. That's what it took for the Bulls, and Rose himself, to have this version of the floor general return. Looking back, it was certainly worth it.