Saturday, April 20, 2013

Should Derrick Rose Return For The Playoffs?

The topic of this blog entry is pretty straightforward. One of the top 2013 NBA playoffs stories has been whether Derrick Rose should come back to aid his team's quest for a title. This question has been hotly debated over the past few weeks, especially with Rose himself saying that he could potentially comeback at any time as long as he felt ready. Before I express my viewpoint, I want it to be known that my opinion on whether he should play or not has nothing to do with Derrick Rose's character. Quite a few people like D.Rose so much as a person, that they're not able to bring themselves to dislike his decisions as a professional athlete. This blog is not written by one of them. So should Derrick Rose return? I think he should, and that he should have returned already.

Why do I think he should have returned already? It's quite simple. Contrary to popular belief, I believe that as a professional athlete, Rose does have certain obligations. These obligations are to the NBA, the Chicago Bulls organization, his teammates, and to the fans. As a professional athlete (Someone who is paid to play a sport) the simple obligation is that he should play in every game that he can play in. Derrick Rose has been cleared for full contact practice since January. If it was a matter of him being 85-90% then I would agree that he shouldn't play, but he's been given a clean bill of health, and has been going through full practices for over 3 months. Over the past two years Derrick Rose has played in 39 out of a possible 148 games. Not blaming him for being injured, but the fact that he has already missed so many games should entice him to return as soon as possible. Any casual fan can tell you that the NBA already has an issue of some players signing long-term fully guaranteed contracts and not giving the effort that they did to earn the contract. Not the production, but the effort. I would hate to see another precedent of guys taking longer than they should to return from injuries, just because they can.

The NBA is a product just like an iPad, Range Rover, Galaxy III, etc. The difference is that consumers (fans) are paying high prices for a product with little to no long-term value. If you disagree, try to sell your tickets from the past Super Bowl and see what you get for them. Without long-term value it is important for consumers to get the best product possible. That's why I'm against rebuilding or giving up years. It's the equivalent of paying high prices for a bad product. Imagine paying for an iPad that couldn't store music. While the NBA (all sport leagues, and companies do) uses it's athletes for it's own monetary gain, it also allows it's players to make a decent living in return for their skills. That's as fair as the world gets. The Bulls organization is paying Rose $16.4 million this year. If he can play, which has been proven to be the case, then he should. Lets not forget what a professional athlete is, someone who is paid to play. Another belief is that the amount of money he makes shouldn't matter. I disagree with that as well. When you accept the big contract numbers, you are accepting the responsibility that comes with it.

Some people say he shouldn't play because his team can't win the title, and again I disagree. First his team finished 45-37, good for 5th place in the Eastern Conference without him playing a single minute. If he's the top-5 player that he is given credit as being, then his presence should in fact allow his team to make a serious run at a title. Look at the past 10-15 years, very few teams were good enough that you could take their superstar off and they'd still make the playoffs. That alone already means that Derrick Rose is playing with a better team than Iverson had in Philly, T-Mac had in Orlando, Dirk had in Dallas, Lebron had in Cleveland, KG had in Minnesota, Pierce had in Boston, Melo had in Denver, etc. You couldn't take those stars off of those team and think the team would win games. It might seem as if I'm being hard on Derrick Rose, but Rose wanted this responsibility. He's the same guy that had the infamous "Why Not Me?" quote which became a catalyst for his MVP season. Despite his age, when he accepted 30% of his team's salary cap and the MVP trophy, his peers became Jordan, Bird, Magic, Lebron, Kobe instead of Kevin Love, OJ Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Jrue Holiday. I can't see any of them not playing in this situation. Next year when Kobe is rounding into shape from his Achilles injury, do you know how excited he would be to join a team that remained in the top-5 in the conference without him. He'd probably say they were serious title contenders, because he believes in his own ability along with a team that has been able to win without him. This brings me to my last argument on why he should play which I think is one of the most important, his obligation to his teammates.

Derrick Rose is without a doubt the best player on the Chicago Bulls, the face of the franchise, the leading scorer, and the highest paid player. With that comes the responsibility to deliver greatness, fair or not. I think by not playing even though he's been cleared for months, Derrick Rose is letting down his teammates effort. His teammates battled through injuries, lost some great role players from last year's team (Korver, Asik, Watson, Lucas, Brewer) and still managed to stay competitive and deliver a playoff appearance. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, both all-stars in their own right, have fought injuries over the years and played at less than a 100% to give Rose a chance at a title. They understand that nothing is guaranteed, and even though the future looks bright this could very well be their best team ever with D.Rose playing of course. If you don't believe me, look at the 2006-07 Golden State Warriors roster, a team full of very good players just entering their prime. After finishing 16-5 and upsetting the #1 seed Mavericks, that team seemed destined to compete for titles for years, but never made it back to the playoffs until this year. The great part about the Bulls is that this team was constructed around Derrick Rose being able to make a comeback and giving him a good chance once he did. They lived up to their end of the deal, and I think Rose is selling his teammates effort short by not returning. With all that said, Rose is a great player and person, so I'll be still rooting for him whenever he does decide to return.

Well that is my opinion on why Rose should have returned. Feel free to leave comments and feedback. Thank you for reading.


  1. I don't think getting a clean bill of health from a doctor is any reason to harp on someone for not coming back. Only Rose himself knows if he is ready, and only he can decide to come back when he is ready. I for one have had a similar situation. I was cleared to play after a torn hamstring. Guess what happened, I went and got injured again. It wasn't the same leg either, it was my good leg. What ends up happening when someone is mentally not ready, is they start compensating with other parts of their body to relieve stress from the previous injured area. So where does all that stress go? To the healthy portion of the body, but now its an abnormal stress load for that portion of the body. That is how I injured my good leg. One must not only be 100% physically ready, but also 110% mentally ready. If you can't trust your body, you shouldn't be playing.

    And how can anyone harp on Rose when the people closest to him (family, team, coach, Bull's organization) fully support him. Do you or anyone else know something about Rose that those people don't? It's very pompous to go and call someone out when not even those closest to him completely disagree with you.

    However, if he is by chance lying to us about his mental toughness, then yes he should play and deserves all the scorn he has been receiving.

  2. *It's very pompous to go and call someone out when not even those closest to him agree with you.

  3. You are living up to your title as a fan(short for fanatic). If you actually read the whole blog, not once did I question anything about Derrick Rose's personal character, just his professional decision not to play. Also the people closest to you are always obligated to support you. I'm pretty sure there's some rumblings amongst teammates, and the Bulls organization but it wouldn't look good on them if they said that publicly. Actually, the NBA being such a player driven league means they almost can't say anything about D.Rose publicly. I still think it's fair to question though. Why should Rose get a pass from being questioned? Jay Cutler was questioned when he was knocked out the NFC Championship game and couldn't return. Is it possible that you don't think Rose should be questioned because you are a fan of his? If that's your idea of sport analysis this blog isn't for you.

    Also if you read my BIO you would see that I was an athlete as well. I understand your analysis, but don't agree with it. I'm not going to make this about me, but I went through my fair share of injuries but any of my teammates will tell you that any chance I had to come back and help my team, I did. I take great pride in that. As athletes (whether paid or not) every time we compete in our sport we are taking the inherent risk of getting injured. We sign up for that. You're never going to feel mentally ready coming off an injury until you actually get back on the court (or whatever field of play) and start competing again and having success. Who knows, Rose could come back at the start of next year and get injured again, that's part of the risk we take as being athletes.

  4. If I was such a fanatic about D-Rose, I wouldn't have the opinion that if he doesn't come back this series, he has no business playing with them the rest of the playoffs (provided they beat the heat). I may love D-Rose since I'm a Bulls fan, but my heart is with the bulls as a whole. I believe it would be unfair to come back after the rest of them had pushed this far. Though That's a personal opinion. If the team would rather him play if he was able to come back next series, then I'm happy with that as well.

    In regards to you questioning him not returning even with the current risk of injury, I ask you this in return. Which scenario is better (numbers completely made up)?

    Case A: Rose Comes back but has a 30% chance or injury and thus shortening his lifetime in the NBA by 6 Years, and reducing him from superstar to great. (Reinjury would certainly cause confidence issues in D-Rose provided his mental state is shaken even after the first injury).

    Case B: No chance of injury this season, 5% chance of injury next season, 3% each following season. Full NBA lifetime (may or may not stay on the Bulls).

    If we analyze the first case, and we suggest the average super star plays 15 years, he would only be playing for 5 more years since he has past 4 now. Though maybe we add a year since he didn't play this one? Anyways, there is only a 30% chance that would happen, but is it worth it to risk 40% of your career on a 50% chance? Would you take those odds in the stock market? That would be pretty ballzy for a professional athlete. This is how they make their living. You and I however, do not make our living off the sports we play. So we are certainly going to return for our teammates despite injury. And as I indicated before, I did return for my team to compete in sectionals and regionals, ultimately ending up with a worse tear than I had before. Now Each season I worry about re-injury and hope I can return the following season without problem (so far unsuccessful). Though it will never stop me from continuing to return and fight with my team no matter what ailment I face (I'm just far less the person I used to be on the field).

    Case B: No injury and has a high likelihood of a lengthy career. Which odds do you take?

    I'm going to bet if it was your job, you wouldn't take the risk of losing it. Well, neither is Derrick. I'd like to conclude by saying my numbers are all speculation and purely based on bull$&##, but if it has taken this long for him to not return, my numbers may be slightly more accurate for your expectation of an earlier return.

    1. I appreciate your analysis. I think you overlook an important aspect though. I don't think D.Rose should come back now, it's far to late and no way he could be effective. My assertion somewhere in the first paragraph is that he should have come back about a month after he was cleared for full practice. Look at Shumpert he had to work hard to get his explosiveness back but he's an asset now (same injury same timetable) or even look at Adrian Peterson he didn't start having breakout games until week 7 about almost two months after the season started but those first 6 games were important in building up his confidence and getting him to 2,000 yards.

      To your other point I agree without a doubt, if you can guarantee Rose would shorten his career if he had came back this year versus having a longer career if he didn't. The only problem with that is that you can't guarantee it. You never know when it's going to end for an athlete hopefully he has a long career but it's no guarantee. There is also no guarantee that in year 15 or whatever he will still be a great player either. Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, Dirk,etc are exceptions to the rule, not the rule itself. More great athletes have lost it before years 13-15 than those who were still able to remain elite. Once again thank you for your imput, I appreciate every reader and comment. Good luck on returning from your injuries.