Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose did not manage to return to the NBA floor this season. Despite being cleared by doctors, Rose didn’t feel quite right and opted to sit the year out — a decision that he has been criticized for. Bulls’ legend Scottie Pippen finds the criticism unjust and is defending Rose.
“I was kind of surprised people turned on him knowing the difficulty of Derrick’s injury,” Pippen said at Nike’s pro-am basketball league at Whitney Young High School on Saturday. “No one can justify what he’s going through. No one can make his decision as to when to get back on the basketball court. I thought he took a little bit of a hit for it.
“As a player that has played this game, I know at the end of the day I’ve had numerous amount of surgeries, and the doctors released me at numerous amount of times to go and play. But a lot of those times didn’t mean go and play against the best in the world right now, but to get yourself ready to compete again. Sometimes as a player, you’re not there yet. The doctor can tell you the headache is gone, but he don’t totally know that it is gone unless he can get in your head.”
While the fans would love to have seen Rose return to the floor, his decision to sit the year out was probably the best for both his own and Chicago’s future. He clearly didn’t feel healthy, and if he does not have complete trust that his knee will hold, he should not play. A huge part of what makes Rose such a special player is his unique athleticism, and if he is out on a basketball floor he needs to feel that his body is ready for the inevitable banging.