Derrick Rose was shocked to hear that he would be joining the Eastern Conference All-Stars as a reserve.
"I was in awe just thinking about it," Rose told Bulls' reporter Adam Fluck after the announcement was formally made just under two weeks ago.
Now it seems that Rose will have a decision to make. After coming down awkwardly on his backside Wednesday night against the Magic, he left the game and reports are that he will not return after suffering a bruised right hip.
Rose will now have a similar dilemma that is facing the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant. Should they play in the All-Star game amidst a little bruising and soreness, or take the weekend off and concentrate on being healthy for the second half of the season?
My answer for both players is to just sit this one out. For Kobe, this would be his 12th All-Star game, for Rose, just his first. But both would clearly benefit from a few days off, especially in a league where regular season play is constant and where three days off is almost non-existent.
Kobe's been there before, knows how it feels, and respects the atmosphere. While most people see the All-Star game as just a dunk fest (and I'm not saying it isn't), Kobe sees it as another national stage on which to showcase his freakish talents.
And I'm not saying that he's the only one that tries (or looks like he's trying). It's just that his three All-Star game MVP awards are as many as Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Jordan, two guys who don't take basketball lightly.
But Kobe still needs to know that his team has a great chance to win a championship, but without him the hill with which they climb will become much steeper. And let's face it, if we would ask the man what he appreciates more, his 11 All-Star appearances or his four NBA championship rings, he wouldn't even hesitate.
The 21-year-old Rose on the other hand may be in the opposite situation, but his value to the Chicago Bulls team should make his decision on whether to play fairly easy.
While he may be reluctant since this is his first chance to play with the best players on the planet, he should think about his future more than anything.
At the rate that he's going, he'll be back on the All-Star podium for years to come, so is it worth the risk?
Granted I'm not either of these players, but I think it would be selfish to risk further injury and/or more missed games than they already have in order to play in one exhibition game.
With Rose, he should at least be able to defend his title in the skills competition (pending the severity of the injury), and Kobe won't be left out of the festivities as he'll be assisting teammate Shannon Brown in the dunk competition.
And both players I'm sure would love to play in the "main event," but sometimes players have to look at themselves and wonder if maybe a little rest in the middle of the season wouldn't hurt.
At least for the sake of the Bulls and Derrick's future with the team, if the injury turns out to be severe enough, I hope he chooses just to sit this one out.