The Chicago Bulls were able to head in to Miami and upset the seemingly invincible Heat squad with another gritty postseason performance. After the game, the Bulls emerging leader Joakim Noah was asked about injured (can he still be considered that?) point guard Derrick Rose.
As you would expect, Noah stuck up for his teammate and had some advice for those critics of Rose.
“If you tore your ACL and you have to be the starting point guard and have the expectations that Derrick has, then maybe you can judge, but everybody who hasn’t been in that situation before should really shut up because I feel like it’s just so unfair to him and to this team,” Noah said, via Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago.
“We’re fighting, and everybody’s going to just s— on somebody who’s been giving so much to this organization. It’s crazy to me.”
Noah said what he had to say, but it isn’t fair to blame the media.
If the Chicago Bulls would have never announced that Rose was medically cleared to return to action, he wouldn’t be facing the pressure to return to the court. But because the team released that news, Rose looks like a perfectly healthy player who is just relaxing on the bench in his Armani suits while his teammates are giving their all for the team and playing while they are sick and injured.
It’s unfair for the rest of the teammates to gut it out while Rose is on the bench, despite being cleared to play.
The only way this can all go away is for Rose to come forward and announce whether he will return this postseason or shut it down until next season. Until he does that, he is doing his teammates and the Bulls fans a disservice.
Respect goes out to Noah for defending his teammate and showing his leadership, but Rose has no one to blame for the criticism but himself.