COMMENTARY | Just a couple of weeks ago, the return of Derrick Rose seemed imminent. There was news of him cutting at game speed and even participating in full-contact practices for the Chicago Bulls. The consensus had become that Rose would make his season debut shortly after the NBA All-Star break. Because those festivities are scheduled to take place in just a few days, "shortly" could have been as early as next week. However, since this announcement, the outlook on his arrival has grown increasingly bleak.
"Shortly after the All-Star break" turned into March 1. And now, March 1 has become potentially not playing at all this season with the admittance by Rose that his "leg still isn't feeling right." The point guard has not suffered any setbacks, but has yet to accomplish things that for him were once effortless-- such as dunking in stride. With this revelation, and the willingness of Rose to sit out until he is at full-strength, it may be time to temper expectations a bit.
For a player such as Rose, whose athleticism plays a major factor in his effectiveness, health is all the more important. Coming back at anything less than what he once was would not do the Bulls much good. The team will probably not win a championship without Rose, but have played well in his absence nonetheless. They need the guy that can dominate games and disarm opponents, not a more pedestrian version.
We all know how much Rose loves his fans and the game of basketball. We know where he came from, and the heart and the pride with which he plays. Certainly no one wants to see him back on the court more badly than Rose wants to see it himself. So, the fact that he has taken the more cautious route should be refreshing to even the most anxious of supporters, and is probably very difficult for Rose. But he is the franchise player. And the franchise will still be here next season. Better a delayed return than one that is premature.
Acamea Deadwiler is a Chicago-area native with several years experience covering the NBA, including the Chicago Bulls, for Examiner.com. She has also been featured in Bounce magazine, SLAM Online, and various other publications. Follow Acamea on Twitter @AcameaLD.
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