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home : blogs_old : hang time October 13, 2015

Hang Time
By Steve Stockmar
Daily Courier sports editor Steve Stockmar gives you the cheat sheet for today’s top sports stories.
Monday, May 13, 2013

It's a title or nothing for Rose, IF he returns

By Steve Stockmar

Lynne Sladky/The Associated Press
Derrick Rose, third from left in blue jacket, as Bulls fans and teammates have grown accustomed to seeing him – in street clothes.

Well now, we definitely won't be seeing Derrick Rose this year.

The Chicago Bulls' guard has been a Tebow-like distraction to his team - like Tebow - by his not playing. Very strange.

You know the story by now. The former MVP (we're back to talking about Rose here, not Tebow, if you'll forgive the no-duh reminder) has season-ending surgery last year, got medical clearance to return two months ago, has spent that time playing full-speed 5-on-5 with NBA teammates, and yet decided - on his own - to not play with the injury behind him.

Charles Barkley has called him out for refusing to play. Steve Kerr has. Fans have. I'd like to believe even Willis Reed would tell him: Dude, get out there and fight alongside your bros, especially as fellow banged-up Bulls gut out memorable performances through pain.

And yet no Rose. For those of you in the betting pool who picked that we'd see O.J. Simpson back in a courtroom before we'd see Rose return to the court, collect your cash.

The Miami Heat have spent the past three games putting an emphatic end to any hope that Rose may still appear to a hero's welcome. The Heat took a 3-1 series lead Monday night, thoroughly embarrassing the Bulls on their home floor. Game 5 is Wednesday.

The way this is going, that should end it. And even Rose's harshest critics will advise him to take a powder permanently at this point. Have a restful summer.

I'm pretty sure Rose will return in 2013-14. Is it a foregone conclusion? Medically, he's been cleared to play for weeks. There's no scheduled rehab for a player to fix his confidence, so Bulls fans are left to make their best guess if Rose will bloom again in time for training camp, much less beyond.

If he thought the pressure was on him while he was sidelined, it will be tenfold when he actually does return.

Nothing less than a championship will restore Rose's budding legacy as a could-be-one-of-the-great-ones. He's looked magical at times, and, as mentioned, he is the only player in the last six seasons not named LeBron or Kobe to win MVP.

Anything shy of a title in his career now, and he'll be most remembered as the great player who wouldn't play, not even in the playoffs, not even with his doctors' blessing, and not even with his teammates' inspiring intestinal fortitude.

Rose's very cred depends on what he does from this point. His heart, his manhood, and his very commitment have been questioned for weeks.

Another MVP won't be enough. That's the pressure that comes from not playing.

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Article comment by: donnie baker

Well since he's already getting booed by his own, he might as well come on out west and join my Lakers! That would be a great fit! We need a great slashing scoring guard, since Mr Nash seems to be heading to the showers for good real soon..

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