Derrick Rose is down, which means it's time for CBS Chicago's Dan Bernstein to start kicking him again.
Bernstein's column on Dec. 18 was, theoretically, a response to Mitch Lawrence's piece in the New York Daily News. In that report, a source close to Rose told Lawrence the injured point guard was worried the Chicago Bulls would be a stripped-down, non-contending outfit by the time he returned:
Lawrence quoted the source as follows: "Derrick is worried that the Bulls are going to lose what they have. He doesn’t want to go through rebuilding."
Bernstein apparently read those comments and saw an opportunity to skewer Rose, spouting some serious vitriol and questioning everything from the star's authenticity to his intelligence.
Here are a few choice tidbits from Bernstein's takedown: "Complaining while not playing is a bad look for someone who has sold a phony reputation as a humble, team-oriented kid."
OK, that's Bernstein's opening sentence. I don't think this is going to go well for D-Rose. Let's continue:
This is typical behavior from a player who has always done only what is in his personal best interest, everybody else be damned. He’ll take every last dollar, and enjoy all the team-supplied resources for medical consultations, surgeries, rehabilitation programs and various therapists, only to ignore their professional opinions just because he feels like it. And don’t bother asking him for even token assistance in welcoming potential free agents either, because he doesn’t want to.
Wow, Dan. Tell us how you really feel.
Don't worry, there's more:
He says he’s all about winning a championship, but then he carps about rebuilding when it appears his team is trying to do what it must to give him that very opportunity. That’s just dumb.
And it’s certainly not humble, so we can stop with that. The quiet superstar is quiet not because he is naturally self-effacing, but because he is bad at talking. The local-kid-made-good storyline is over.
This isn't a first for Bernstein, who seems to take shots at Rose whenever the opportunity arises.
And to be fair, there are cogent points buried beneath the finger-wagging and deliberately incendiary indignation. For example, Bernstein mentions that Derrick's brother, Reggie Rose, is a terrible influence and probably unfit to manage the affairs of a professional athlete.
It's hard to argue with that contention.
But the over-the-top anger and unprofessional digs at Rose's smarts completely sap any credibility Bernstein's otherwise viable contentions might have.
Perhaps most egregiously, Bernstein seems to be using Rose's rotten injury luck and resultant rehab efforts as evidence that he's selfish.
Putting aside the fact that Bernstein's column is really dumb and seems to have been written with the assumption that Rose keeps getting hurt on purpose, it's a good illustration of what a mess this whole situation is becoming.
Yes, the situation in Chicago is messy. But it certainly doesn't help when guys like Bernstein use the slightest provocation to drag Rose through the muck.