Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has been wearing neck tape to help with the neck soreness he has felt over the last week, and according to ESPN, he may continue to wear it after he has healed.
Rose said jokingly that if he has a big game tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers, he will continue to wear the tape. He was wearing the tape on both sides of his neck when he made the go-ahead shot in the final seconds of Thursday’s game against the New York Knicks.
“As long as the league allows me to,” said the former NFL MVP. “If I have a breakthrough game I might wear it the whole year.”
Rose, who is feeling fine for tonight’s game, says that the tape is helping him:
Keeping my neck stable. When you have a crick in your neck it’s kind of hard to turn side to side so it’s kind of keeping my neck in line and making sure my vertebraes are safe.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t have a problem with it.
“He thinks it helps him,” Thibodeau said. “So we’re good with it.”
Thibodeau certainly hopes the tape is helping Rose, who is 11-of-38 from the field over the last two games.
“He’ll work his way through it,” Thibodeau said. “He’ll be fine. I thought he shot the ball really well in the preseason. He’s got to mix of some layups and in between [shots] and the open 3. I thought he found some rhythm to start the third [against New York] with the 3 and that sort of got him going. But I like the way … he did a lot of other things to help us in that game. He didn’t hang his head, I thought his defense was terrific, and then he had the courage to take and make late.”
Even though he had a great preseason, some rust is to be expected, as Rose has not played a game before this season in over a year, recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.
“For me I think it’s just really what I’m going through now,” he said. “Taking all the bumps, missing shots — of course that’s going to be part of the game. But it’s just going to take me playing, playing as hard as I can, working out every day like I’m supposed to. Just putting my all into my craft and my teammates allowing me to still play the way I’m playing even though I’m missing these shots. So what happens when I do start making them? If anything, I should be fine.”