Derrick Rose’s Teammates, Coach Have Reasonable Response To His Health Comments, Unlike Media
In case you missed it, Derrick Rose admitted yesterday that he's sat out some games early on this season in order to preserve his long-term health. Since he's a basketball player and not an orator, it came out a little clumsy, and left his dedication open to interpretation. Here's what he said (via the Chicago Sun-Times):
"I’m good, man," Rose said when asked to assess how he’s been playing. "I feel I’ve been managing myself pretty good. I know a lot of people get mad when they see me sit out. But I think a lot of people don’t understand that when I sit out, it’s not because of this year. I’m thinking about long term. I’m thinking about after I’m done with basketball, having graduations to go to, having meetings to go to.
"I don’t want to be in my meetings all sore or be at my son’s graduation all sore just because of something I did in the past. Just learning and being smart."
Okay. I can see why that might rub people, especially Bulls fans, the wrong way. Here's a guy who has had to sit out precious years of his prime, and now he's talking about taking games off so his knees aren't sore in "meetings"? In a town once dominated by Michael Jordan, who would have wanted to play through broken elbows and on crutches, that comes off as a little... concerning. But again, Rose isn't known for his eloquence. He's known for being a baller.
Not surprisingly, some in the media jumped all over this. What do people who get paid to have opinions think about it? Here's Steve Rosenbloom of the Sun-Times:
— steve rosenbloom (@steverosenbloom) November 12, 2014
(This article had some gems, like "I don't know if that's his brother or agent putting that garbage in his head, but it's one of the most embarrassing things a player can say. Thing is, it's not just that the statement is idiotic, it's that he apparently believes it. It's galling and stupid, and Rose doesn't seem smart enough to understand why.")
And here's everyone's favorite hot-take spitter, Skip Bayless:
DRose, who made 34 mil for playing 10 games last 2 yrs, now more interested in protecting legs for after-basketball life. Just sickening.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 12, 2014
Feel sorry for Chicago. DRose, blessed w/ so much ability, wants to be paid like superstar but doesn't want to pay price to BE a superstar.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 12, 2014
Meanwhile, if anyone should have a problem with what was said, it would be his teammates -- the guys who put themselves on the line with Rose and for him day after day -- and his coaches. What did they think about his comments? From ESPN:
"Look, I think that's a fair concern for everybody," Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy said after practice on Wednesday. "It's a big topic now in sports, especially in football with concussions and things like that. It goes the same with basketball. You know different types of injuries and things like that. There's certainly more to life than it.
"At the end of the day, look, Derrick's fully committed. I can speak on his behalf. He's fully committed the way I see him working, the way I see him out there. Nobody should question that. You know it's a little bit different viewpoint, but as far as his commitment to us, the city, the team, that should never be put in question."
First-year Bulls forward Pau Gasol hasn't been around Rose for long, but he also believed from what he had seen Rose was dedicated to the team. Gasol and Dunleavy said they hadn't personally heard or read Rose's comments from Tuesday.
"I heard a couple things from people, not directly reading from the outlets, but obviously he's concerned about his long-term health, which we all are in a way, but we're in a business, we're in a sport, where that's what's at stake and that's a commitment that we make, and a price that we pay," Gasol said. "It's something that any athlete is exposed to, but I think he's a guy that works extremely hard. He works hard, and I think he's 100 percent committed to winning and to this team. But in the make of his mind, he's had a rough stretch, so you understand that part."
I think this: I know Derrick, and I know he wants to play," Tom Thibodeau said. "You have to take a look at what he's just gone through. It's been 2½ long years, two major injuries. So, there's a lot going on there. When you sprain both your ankles, you have to do what you think is right.
"As I said, if he's healthy, he should play. If he's injured, he should sit. It's a long time that he's been off. He's got to go. And I think he understands that. Derrick wants to win. We've got a good group. We've got a good opportunity. It's on us what we do with the opportunity. And the commitment from our entire team has to be special. If we want to do something great, the effort has to be great in all areas. I've been around a long time. I understand you can't shortcut this...
He's dealt with a lot of adversity. You can't forget that. You look at all the great players who have come in this league and done special things, they've all gone through something similar where they've had to get past an injury or two injuries. This is not uncommon. And he'll get through it."
It appears that the guys who have the most to gain, and lose, from Rose's commitment, or lack thereof, are fine with his mindset. Meanwhile, the guys who don't actually put their bodies and lives on the line were the most critical. Whose side would you take?
Photo via Getty
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