Believe it or not, Derrick Rose does not exist within a vacuum. You would think those who have watched him most would know and accept by now that the Chicago Bulls All-Star guard and youngest MVP in league history is simply as different as a person from most of his peers as he’s shown himself to be from them as a baller.
That’s why I was somewhat taken aback this week to read a Chicago Tribune article that mockingly compared some of Rose’s comments to those of Jimmy Butler, who like Rose is currently on the shelf but hoping to return to the Bulls lineup by the playoffs.
Since he went down with his elbow injury, Butler has almost towed the company line down to the last syllable, stressing he will without question be back within the three to six week window they are holding open for him. Rose knows and understands the window the team has for him is much the same, but when questioned his response to the all the subliminal pressuring clearly being applied has been “who cares?”
Now repeat after me: Derrick Rose may not be most skilled media manipulator to ever grace the sports arena but what he can do as your point guard once he arrives on the hardwood more often than not tends to tilt the scales in the favor of any team he’s suiting up for.
Granted, Rose’s first interview since his third knee surgery over the last 34-months wasn’t a lesson in public relations artistry nor a darling exemplification of political correctness. But it was vintage Derrick Rose, filled with the same level of dogged determination he’s always exhibited and more and more cloaked in the kind of “me and against the world” way kind of thinking that even makes it possible for him to attempt the kind of comeback he’s attempting.
Even before it was over, Rose was waxing about how it’s “all about just getting back on the court. It was just something they had to get out,” he added. “I wasn’t worried about the future. I just wanted it out, be able to walk right and get to rehab right away.”
The most harshest of Rose’s critics raise doubts about his commitment, but how legitimate can those concerns be taken when you consider Rose was back at the team facility looking to jumpstart his latest rehab within 24 hours after his latest procedure?
Not even all his doctors may have recommended such a course of action, but the truth is Derrick Rose is his own man. It’s what makes him Derrick Rose. Given that, Rose can no more be the exact same person that Jimmy Butler is as Butler how shown himself to be when Rose has been at his absolute heights.
Truth is, Derrick Rose is a rare breed, on and off the court. And you would think the Bulls and those who observe him most would know by now that the good in that far exceeds all the complexities that have been.