After tearing his ACL about a year ago in the first round of the 2011-2012 NBA playoffs, famed Chicago Bulls point guard, Derrick Rose, received a lot of criticism for not suiting up and playing for the entire 2012-2013 regular season. After looking healthy to play during pre-game warm ups, and being cleared in March to play, he continued to sit out while the he team carried on without him. The Bulls managed to defeated the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs but were outlasted by the loathsome Miami Heat squad in the second round and were eliminated in game five.
Fans and even critics wanted to see Rose’ return to the battle field again but it never happen. Instead, they’ll all have to wait until next fall to see Rose on the court again. Rose was looking at his career from the long-term approach, waiting to be completely ready mentally and physically to return. Rose recieved a tremendous amount of backlash for taking this root, however Chicago Bulls Vice President of Basketball Operations, John Paxson, came to his defense, said he is fine with Rose’ decision to not return and believes the 2011 MVP received unfair criticism.
Via The Chicago Tribune:
Paxson, the Bulls’ executive vice president of basketball operations, told WSCR-AM 670 on Sunday that Rose “took a lot of unfair shots” from critics who felt he should have returned late in the regular season or during the playoffs.
“It’s the way of the world now, the social media, everything that goes on,” Paxson said. “Everybody wants to point a finger and blame and accuse and that kind of stuff. And the reality is, Derrick and us, we were all on the same page from the beginning. If he was ready to play mentally and physically, he was going to play. It didn’t happen this year.”
Paxsons’ comments about the team may come off as a contrast to what’s been believed throughout the season. Many reports throughout the season indicated that the Bulls were ready to utilize Rose and input him in their starting line up, but it was up to Rose. He called the shots after being cleared by medical professionals.
John Paxson ultimately believes the time off was in fact a good thing for the Chicago native.
“There’s no question in my mind that the time he spent on his body this past year was the best thing he’s ever done because I think he’s learned that, to compete in an NBA season and absorb the physical contact that he does, what he’s done during this rehab has benefitted him greatly. I think it’s going to make him better and stronger.
It’s debatable whether or not Rose made the decision to sit out. After seeing the team struggle against the Nets, I wondered what it would be like if he was actually there leading his team on. No doubt it would’ve gone to game seven. Rose’ decision did hurt the Bulls on the court as injuries and sickness plagued the team. With Rose on the bench and opting out to play, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had to resort to starting Nate Robinson at the point while using rookie Marquis Teague in rotation.
Not to take anything away from Robinson as he had stellar performances, and small forward Jimmy Butler who adapted quickly and better than anyone else. The team had no answer for the Heat and fell several times.
However even if Rose back, they might’ve been hopeless even with him on the court. Clearly not comfortable with his mind and body, Rose might of made rookie mistakes on the court.
When all is said and done as long as Rose and the front office are on good terms, the city looks bright for the team and the three-time NBA All-Star. This will all be history as soon as Rose comes back and all those who bashed him, criticism him and even resorted to foul language insulting him would soon turn around and become fans of him once again.