Rose Not Walking Through Game 7 Door

If ever there was going to be the perfect, if overdue, moment for Derrick Rose to return to action for the Chicago Bulls, it would be a Game 7 in the NBA playoffs, with his team desperate for help, facing the Brooklyn Nets in a hostile building …

Stop. Rose won’t be walking through that door for the Bulls Saturday night, even if he does have more spring in his step than Willis Reed did 43 years ago on the other side of the East River, limping back for a Game 7 and straight into sports mythology. The Captain only stuck around long enough to hit two shots and inspire the New York Knicks to their first championship. Rose would seem to have that much in him, in what would likely be a 15-20 minutes limit whenever he actually does return to action. And of course we’re wasting our time and our typing here.

After all, Rose’s extended layoff from knee surgery last May – we’re at 51 weeks now – could have had its perfect ending in Game 6 Thursday at United Center, where a packed arena’s warm embrace for however long he lasted might have been enough to propel the Bulls into the second round already. It could have come two weeks ago, synchronized to the start of a postseason he missed last spring. It could have come last month or sometime after the All-Star break, when word began leaking out from behind the practice curtains that, in 5-on-5 scrimmaging, that the 2011 MVP was looking as good as ever.

The arc of Rose’s repair and rehabilitation from ACL surgery has gone from anticipatory to antsy to anticlimax. It has overstayed its welcome in the Windy City, like the occasional stubborn winter, and as with the Chicago Cubs’ ridiculous drought, a numbness and a whole lot of scoffing is settling in for some folks. If they did not laugh, they would cry.

But there’s more floating out there than jokes. During the Game 5 telecast Monday, TNT analyst Steve Kerr was critical of Rose for his refusal to take that last big step of rehab, testing all that work and dedication where it matters most, in an NBA game, for a team in need. Multiple Bulls players have been pushing through bruises, pain and illness, while Rose still monitors the repair of a year-old injury (April 28, 2012, to be exact).

“I know I’ve kind of changed my mind,” Kerr said on-air. “I’ve really supported the Bulls and Derrick with the way they’ve handled it. I think you err on the side of caution. But I think where the Bulls are now with this series with [backup point guard] Kirk Hinrich struggling with the calf injury — if Derrick is OK and there’s no threat to further injury, I think he’s got to play.”

It’s that kind of talk, not just from Kerr but all over sports-radio airwaves and the Internet, that has dinged Rose’s reputation. As beloved in his short career as any Chicago sports star save one, Rose’s hesitancy to play until he’s fully “comfortable” or regains “muscle memory” has some people questioning his courage, his character, his commitment, you name it. It is as irrational as it was inevitable with a layoff this long, fan stuff of impatience mixed with the coverage of the other hobbled Bulls as “gamers.”

Rose told reporters at the Bulls’ shootaround Saturday in New York that he hadn’t heard the criticism. “That’s my first time hearing about it,” he said in another too-rare media moment. “I barely turn on the TV. I’m with my son all day so that’s about it.”

None of the second-guessing is coming from the organization or his teammates. Coach Tom Thibodeau and Hinrich, as all of them have for months, gave Rose absolute votes of confidence Wednesday. Still, the Bulls and Rose failed each other by failing to keep everyone – not just themselves but the media and the fans – in the loop. They let him, his agents, his family and his sneaker partners (adidas) dictate the terms of communication, kept at a trickle, that bled away empathy and heightened suspicions. Monthly sit-downs with Bulls reporters would have provided better feedback, kept Rose’s affable personality front and center and calmed if not satisfied the locals.

The Bulls also should have avoided distractions, speculation and all this angst by shutting down Rose’s will-he-or-won’t-he return about six weeks ago. Did they really want to overlay the learning curve of his return onto their playoff preparation, risking other guys’ roles and rhythms? Did they seriously consider throwing him raw out there against a Brooklyn backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson? Would they seriously put Rose as red meat in front of the Dobermans from Miami, if they made it to the next round?

Come on. Who’s believes this stuff?

There would have been nothing wrong had Rose and the Bulls tossed the entire 2012-13 season aside and simply let everyone know the plan, assuming they had a plan. If this truly was matter of, physically and mentally waking up each day and gauging his health and his confidence, OK, fine. Even that would have gone done better if not for the elaborate, expensive series of shoe commercials – “The Return” – that made it look as if Bulls fans would be getting Rose as “Rocky” sooner rather than later.

The long, unsatisfying NBA season in Chicago is nearing an end. When Rose does come back in October, he’ll turn this all into a win-win: Show rust and people will nod, agreeing finally (and probably wrongly, since rust is part of these things whenever) that he needed another five months. Play great and the uber-cautious strategy will seem like genius, and the teeth-gnashing of this spring will fade away.

It’s just difficult for a lot of folks over the next few hours or days knowing that – with Hinrich’s calf, Luol Deng‘s illness, Joakim Noah‘s plantar fasciitis, Taj Gibson‘s knee and Nate Robinson‘s towel-and-bucket routine Thursday – the healthiest guy on the Chicago roster might be Derrick Rose.


  1. cailles says:

    i think the nba should look in to this, medically cleared player who refused to play should be fined by the nba

  2. Jason says:

    to haters: after all this is done, you guys will respect the other bull players much more. Its a TEAM sport. Rose is smart to sit out and his teammates support him. they are risking their own careers and that’s not his fault. His teammates are being tough and in the future, Rose will do that too because he will remember how tough they were for him!

  3. WILKSY08 says:

    As my man Katt WIlliams says, haters gonna hate. Let them do there job. Firstly yes Rose has been cleared to play but he isnt” 100% healthy- if he comes back against Miami, re=injures his knee and is out for another year fans will go crazy. Rose isn’t readay for playoff basketball, wait till next season is the best anwer at this point.

  4. ThunderRocketsFan says:

    He’s been medically cleared about 2 months ago. He should at least make a showing like David Lee for 5 minutes. Some people just want him to make an effort and support his team with a few minutes.

  5. The Dark Knight says:

    Because he’s the hero Chicago deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hate him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guard, a driving point. A dark knight.

  6. Ray says:

    I’d like to see anyone in Derrick Rose’s shoes. He’ going to be chucked into the most intense basketball games series after having a year off??? CHances of injury very HIGH!!! Give him a break. He has his WHOLE career ahead of him. I don’t see any of you suiting up to play???

    • Sintido kumon says:

      He’s been cleared to play,as a player getting paid millions he has the responsibility to the team…amare has dealt with a lot of injuries in his career but came back every time…Kenyon Martin had micro fracture surgery on both his knees but came back and has helped his team,drose doesn’t have to be his old self again straight away,just bein on the court leading your team is enough to show that he is the real deal and not some scaredy cat in a suit watching his troops battle for dear life…I remember his first year though,he played through an injury against the celtics but came up short,but at least he gave it his all that’s why fans loved him,I wonder what happened to that Derrick rose…

  7. Brandon says:

    If you watch the video, you can tell he intentionally avoids some of the questions regarding why exactly he’s not playing and whether he is still in pain. His eyes and the fact that he cant straight at his interviewers show he is lying about his “soreness” and the “support he has for his team.” Derrick Rose is definitely healthy enough to play, but he either does not want to invest in his team or is too cowardly to face the Miami Heat down the road.

  8. Bespoken says:

    All this hoopla and I am sensing there might be more to this story. He’s clear by doctor after All star game and he said he wants to come back at 110%. I think he’s BSing us, either he got something wrong with his knee again(a la oden) or he’s got an injury phobia now.

  9. Rich says:

    Lots of dumb people commenting on here. Go Bulls!

    • No 1. Aussie says:

      Best comment so far. Most of you people have no idea how hard it is mentally tocome back from a knee reconstruction. Leave Rose alone and just enjoy the finals.

  10. Austin says:

    Even though I would love to see Derrick Rose come back for the playoffs, it’s a huge risk. Derrick Rose has his whole career ahead of him, if he were to get injured trying to play in such an intense playoff atmosphere that could be the end of it. I do agree that he should at least get a little bit of minutes to try to give motivation to his teammates. I don’t agree with people saying he’s a coward, he’s just smart enough not to put himself in a position to get injured again. You guys all mention that his team has injuries, but think of it like his teammates were 100% going to 75% and Derrick Rose working hard from 0% to 75% then going straight back down to 0%. The question is, “is it really worth the risk and hard work he put in??” People should stop looking at this from a fan’s perspective, and look at it from his. Rose still has his whole future ahead of him.

  11. Patman says:

    guys give Rose a break… he hasn’t played a game of NBA basketball for over a year, and you want to throw him into a game 7 in a playoff series, when everything’s on the line, when things could get extra-physical & dirty?? I would have loved to see him play, don’t get me wrong, but I’d way more rather give all my attention to the guys who ARE actually playing, instead of spiting the venom at a guy who’s been out for a year. We’re Bulls fans, don’t forget that! When he comes back (either against the heat, or next year) we’ll have a team that will get even better! I was stoked that we qualified for the playoffs this year, and over the moon that we just made it through the 1st round!! So lets see the Bulls we love, with or without Rose, keep on giving their best against the heat, reigning champs, using the experience they’ve gained in a season without Rose to maybe grab a game or 2 against the heat, you never know what could happen 🙂

  12. Patty says:


  13. capt'n crunch says:

    Well, he aint no Kobe nor will he ever be like Mike. He’s mentally fragile.

  14. Gary Payton says:

    Rose is 95%, shooting the ball in warm ups for a hour and a half and cannot play? That does not make sense? Is he the only one on the team with no heart? Heat are coming and if does not play in game one, get rid of him! He is a liability to any team…..

  15. Tom says:

    Trade Rose and acquire Chris Paul. Problem solved.

    • OKC fan says:

      he will play vs miami series


        He better not play vs Miami…. I like Rose but Miami will pound the Bulls. Why come back to play the best without warming up against the rest? Not a smart move if he decides to come back against the champs.

  16. GOBULLS says:

    Just play rose. Give me a one heck of a fight this game 7 win or lose. I don’t care. I just want to see you play at all.

  17. Ricky says:

    Rose told reporters at the Bulls’ shootaround Saturday in New York that he hadn’t heard the criticism. “That’s my first time hearing about it,” he said in another too-rare media moment. “I barely turn on the TV. I’m with my son all day so that’s about it.”……………… Full of lies…………… Man up and play like your fellow teammates are playing hurt also……. Don’t be a primadonna juz bcoz you won an MVP in 2011… You didn’t desreved that MVP Trophy for your information Mr. Derrick Rose…..

  18. Jess says:

    Why dont we put rose’s healthy knee to westbrook..

  19. El Negro says:

    Rose definitely has become a MAJOR distraction!!!! First it’s the Adidas marketing campaign of the “Return”, then he the earliest reports said by February he should be back, then after the trade deadline his brother (who happens to be his manager) basically said he doesn’t want Rose to come back because the Bulls didn’t get him enough help to win a ring this year, then Rose got medical clearance to resume basketball activities a week later, a month went by and NBA sources said he looked great and was ready to return any day, then Rose said his hamstrings were “on fire”, then he said he can’t dunk off his left leg, then he dunks off his left leg, then weeks later he still is a no go, then he bizarrely said he’s not coming back until he’s 110%( which makes no sense), then he outlandishly said only God knows when he’s coming back(he speaks directly to God like Moses), then he said he won’t rule out a return in the regular season, the regular season ends, then he said he might be back in the playoffs, then his brother after seeing the Bulls go up 3-1 said he might come back against Miami in the second ,then the Bulls get’s bit by injuries, now it’s game 7, Luol Deng is in the ER his need him and this fool is verbally stating that he might come back but that he doesn’t know! SHUT THE HELL UP AND GO AWAY! NO MORE MEDIA FOR YOU! WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT YEAR AND YOU BETTER WIN A RING FOR THE CITY!

  20. ElGreco says:

    yo, people, use your heads a little –
    I find it highly unlikely that a healthy player wouldn’t want to play in the playoffs, so there’s clearly one of two things happening here; either it’s not his decision, or he’s not 100%
    If, for whatever reason, it’s not his decision, then it’s not his fault he’s not playing – By the way, the fact that he dunked before a game, that should tell you something – he wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t want to play
    If he’s not 100%, then he’s probably in the best position, with the doc’s opinion, to estimate the risk – there’s different sorts of injuries, playing through the flu for example, won’t jeopardize your playing future.
    So come one people, show derrick some love, and don’t forget, writers have to write something

  21. Thomas the Great says:

    Derrick Rose:

    Get out there and do what you’re getting paid to do.

    After the medical staff clears him to play, why should this be left up to Rose himself? It’s ridiculous if you ask me.

    This should be the decision of the coaching staff. Go talk to your player. Tell him he’s starting tonight.

  22. Darren says:

    I’d love to hear Kobe’s thoughts on all this

  23. Jayvone says:

    There’s no need for the rush of derrick rose. When he reuturn the bulls goin all the way rather it be this year next year or the year after. Im hoping and praying that he come back at full speed. The return has yet to come but the countdown begins.2014 THE YEAR OF THE BULLS.

  24. Henry Espin says:

    Derrick Rose is a straight up coward.I truly hope you read this because you have disappoint your fans with whole excuse of not ready to play when you’re the healthiest guy on the team. You’re a disgrace to the whole Chicago Bulls organization.

  25. Buckdawg says:

    Sit out, rest the knee and be ready for next season…?!

    Are you kidding me?!

    Do you not understand the opportunity you guys (the Bulls) have right now? You know how many teams DIDN’T make the playoffs this year? You know how many teams will probably NEVER make the second round of the playoffs for the next FIVE years?

    Chicago stand at a chance of taking game 7 and advancing to the next round, to face the defending champs who they’ve played well against even without Rose, coming back with a more healthier squad every day, and a superstar kicker. The Bulls, and Rose in particular, need to SEIZE THE MOMENT and take this opportunity RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait til next season, you never know WHAT will happen, you may NEVER get to this position again!

    Not only would his return add a dynamic element to the Bulls offense that Brooklyn do not know how to defend, but it would add energy and inspiration to a suffering Bulls team in dire need of it, as well as answering any questions about Rose’s character and commitment. If he doesn’t, if he sits on his behind and does nothing but watch his brave team slowly slither out of the playoffs, then this will hang over his head for years, you watch.

    Every game is a risk, but with no further danger to his health, he really has NO real excuse not to at LEAST try. He owes it to the fans, to the team, and heck, even to himself.

  26. tony says:

    its ashame because there are millions of people making less than a buck a day and still have to risk their life working and D rose get all these moneys doing nothing…

  27. ahmed says:

    he should learn from curry and lee

  28. Big Al says:

    It’s only valid for Rose not to play if he faces a big risk of another major injury, like in Game 1 of last year’s playoffs. He was forced to play and paid a hefty price physically. But if that’s not the case, then he should try and help his team win Game 7. All other key players did what they can to keep the Bulls in a decent position. As a Laker fan, I should say that Chicago have been very tough in spite of their superstar’s injury, unlike the purple and gold where no one stepped up and tried to make it work when Kobe got sidelined. It is also worth noting that they also beat a full-power Miami twice this season without Derrick.

    Hopefully, this isn’t a case of being too sissy to get on the court and strive to make it happen. Don’t be like LA. You’re a game away from the next round, so Rose, please play if you can. It’s your turn to take your team a step further.

  29. Kune says:

    I can not believe that I looked up to Mr. Rose. I am a Bulls fan ever since. I remember when MJ had to go against the Jazz w/a flu and win that year’s championship trough his determination. David Lee with a bad hip went out to boost Golden State and win the series. And he had that injury just a couple of days ago. And you DRose you already had that knee rested for more than a year… Mr. Rose are you really for this team?!. I can’t believe how coward you are. No one is asking for you to go for crazy dunks during a game… It is your leadership that is needed. But I guess your ultimate goal of winning a championship is just one big fat LIE! Because you have already turned your back against your teammates. Every single one of your teammate is giving a110% and I would rather have Joakim Noah as the face of the Bulls Franchise, like MJ did, he shows a never say die attitude. I am really dissappointed… I wish I never bought your jersey. Chicago needs a leader not a quitter!!!

  30. max says:

    The Rose situation???Well there may be more health issues than the BULLS care for the Media/Fans to know about???? VERY unusual for a player to stay so quiet, and also the team???When Payers with the known same injury have returned to help their team, examples, So MANY, but just a few, LOOK at S. NASH, Ricky Rubio and now look at KOBE BRYANT I know played two years with two broken fingers taped together. Now Nash had many injuries and(still does), Kobe could be used as an experiment for playing with so many injuries. Look at Mauna (SPURS) and other SPURS (PARKER), so many that the Media has not sniffed out are playing with injuries. Steve Nash played dragging his hip and leg to try to help his team. Did not increase his pay, but his willingness to help his team. Kobe would try with braces if he could, look at Griffin playing with the heel problems. SO I DO NOT THINK THE BULLS/ROSE ARE TELLING THE WHOLE STORY???? I SMELL A RAT!!

  31. Slim says:

    I mean ‘ Why Bother ‘
    There is no way they gonna beat Miami (if they get to the 2nd Round) with/without Rose , and this coming from a laker fan ….
    Rest Rose and be ready for next season …

  32. Pissed Off Fan says:

    D Rose is done….He has no heart! I have been a Bulls fan all my life and I will be forever. D Rose was everything Chicago needed, and he failed us and his team. The rest of the Bulls, deserve a lot of credit for playing tough all year. The rest of the team is made of warriors and it shows. My hats off to Deng, Robinson, Noah, Gibson, Booz and Kirk. Boozer has been great this year. Now the bold statement…..If the Bulls can do what they are without D Rose and be injured….Trade D Rose and get a player or two with heart and lets see how far they go. D Rose = D Done.

    • NbaFacts says:


      • next74 says:

        I could not agree more. He is a selfish player and I really do not like him anymore. Man up and play like the rest of the team have done with injuries. Although he wears #2 Nate is the #1 man in Chicago right now.

    • Kevin says:

      Trade him? Trade the only player other than Lebron to win the MVP in the last 5 years?? Look.. we’re all disappointed that D Rose didn’t come back.. I would have loved to see him on the court this year but that’s obviously not happening. Why should he come back and play a game 7 when the rest of his team is injured/sick and has NO chance of beating the heat? No point at all.. he knows his body and if he feels that he isn’t ready to go, then so be it. He’ll be healthy for next season and that’s what matters at this point. This big picture looks better than the small picture in this situation.. but trading him is not an option for the bulls.

      • Tom says:

        “Why should he come back and play a game 7 when the rest of his team is injured/sick and has NO chance of beating the heat?” He should come back and play game 7 BECAUSE “the rest of his team is injured/sick and has NO chance of beating the Heat.”

      • Bespoken says:

        Oh, Kevin. We men like to compete, it doesn’t matter if I am going to lose or not. I am going to give it all, I rather to do something and regret than do nothing and regret.

    • next74 says:

      I could not agree more. This chump is just like Romo to me, a loser on the team. With all the others playing with pain, all he is playing is his millions that he’s being paid.

    • jerry1125 says:

      eg Russel Westbrook the same player as rose except with a heart

    • Ken says:

      This is the same type of “fan” I was talking about in my above post.

  33. Benjamin says:

    Derrick Rose won’t comme back tonight. We will see him, at the next season. I hope Bulls’ll win tonight !

  34. jfack says:

    so whyy is he not walking through the door im confused here ? does that mean he is not gonna be even on the bench..? or what

  35. Ken says:

    He needs to rest his knee and take care of himself first. When he does come back, if he plays well, everybody will forget about this and love him again. If not, he will be forgotten like many other stars who were injured, never fully recovered, and were forgotten. A large number of “fans” are quick to turn and forget.

    The 2012-2013 season is far less important that his career and his body. Leave the guy alone.

    • SoFlaFan says:

      Everyone will leave him alone, maybe by not buying his jersey, and kicks, that may motivate him!

  36. Sunny says:

    Derrick Rose will never be an all time great. Chickening out from playing, such a big ego because he doesnt want to be seen in a weaker moment!! I think its really ridiculous!! If contracts were changed to a per game basis I bet he would have returned 2 months ago!!

  37. Art says:

    Regardless of who wins this game it’s clear that healthy Bulls even without Rose are much better than Nets.

    Next year Tom Thibodeau must stop play Deng, Noah and others for 40+ minutes. When anyone is exhausted the probability of injury or illness increases dramatically because body can’t keep fighting.

    GarPax should do everything to keep Robinson and if possible Belinelli.

    Rose could start thinking of excuses for not playing next year.

    • Bespoken says:

      Nate was great when Rose is hurt. But I don’t see Nate will have that freedom or even a contract when Rose returns. Such a shame though, he’s listed at 5’9 but looks like he’s 5’7. What a warrior!

  38. bullsfanforever says:

    Derrick Please Come Back 😦

  39. damian says:

    All that HGH and steroids for Rose’s knee and Rose is still not ready…?

  40. Christian says:

    Derrick Rose is just too scared and he is like traumatized. Willis Reed was way more hurt than what he was! Derrick your just too scared! WATCH OUT FORR THEM HEAT THOUGHHH!!! 🙂

    • TT says:

      Derrick Rose is afraid of playing for the wrong coach. Remember last season’s playoff game 1 against Philly? Just seconds before that tragic accident, but it can be preventable if you think hard enough. Up with a double digit lead with less than 3 minutes to go and forcing your players to drive into the lane? Tom Thibodeau is an unscrupultous coach who has no regards for the fatigue of his players. They do not deserve any pity. BULLS FANS WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, TOM THIBODEAU!!!!

      • Bespoken says:

        TT what will you say to those comebacks from the first rounds? Never say never. Tom wants to ensure the win and let Rose plays more to get his legs back(just came back from injury at that time). NOONE thinks Rose is that injury prone before this. Still, Noah was playing hurt, same as nate and Gibson, Other teams like MEMS has ZBo playing hurt and BG was playing hurt as well. Rose needs to come back strong to slience the haters.

  41. Shawn says:

    Never have i heard of a healthy leader in basketball not play in a most win situation because he wants to win a championship later in his career? I think if a player is cleared by the doctor, then he should be compelled to play. It should be a coaches decision, or at least be docked from his pay. What is worse, its demoralizing to the team, depressing the fans, and a disaster for business. What if all players refused to play because they THINK this or that? (Is it his brothers call if the Bulls have a winning chance or not this year)? The fact is, the Bulls have just as good of anyone to win the championship this year. No one said it would be easy. BUT WE DO OUR VERY BEST. Plus, the fans are living through an economic depression. We want to feel uplifted that we can try and succeed, with grit like Noah, Deng and the entire Bulls play. We may be handicapped sometimes, but we can overcome!!! Sure next year him and Dwight Howard may be super athletes, but who cares? One thing we have learned great Individuals can’t win a championship alone, but they can sure lose it – because the team relied on its stars to come through, not pull everyone down through with a negative attitude!

    • Craig says:

      > he should be compelled to play

      you’d think the bulls would remind him that he has 17 million reasons or so to do it.

  42. Ralph says:

    “And of course we’re wasting our time and our typing here.”

    Your words, not mine. Though I am in total agreement!

  43. W/E says:

    The bulls should just give up, why should Deng,Noah Gibson and the rest crippled Bulls players risk their careers just for a game 7? they are gunna get toasted anyway in round 2 by the Heat, Rose doesnt wanna play and risk his career for that, why should everyone else in his team play in game 7 with all those injuries instead of following D.ROse example and sit out? Why is D.Rose the exception, Noah,Deng and Gibson shouldnt even travel with the team, they should stay home and watch just like their “leader” is doing from the bench, even better go fishing its way better, its a disgrace to sit back,watch and do nothing.

    • bt says:

      You play to win the game. Boo to Derrick. Cheers to the tough guys.

    • D says:

      D. Rose should be ashamed of himself. When your team is at its most desperate….your still sitting out? Your 100% healthy your already in the playoffs, your teammates have gone through agony and pain to get the 5th spot in the EAST and yet somehow, someway your still considered a Superstar? Even if he does comeback next season, if the bulls get eliminated, this is probably a defining moment in his NBA career when he could’ve or at least tried to make a difference.

    • bil says:

      this is why you’re not an athlete. athletes COMPETE. it is why they are paid insane amounts of money. they deal with the pressure and are expected to play it through. Tennis players give it their all and retire before they hit 30 because they compete with everything they got. This also applies to nba players. Ewing, Jordan, Larry bird, magic Johnson, and other greats played through pain and injuries or pushed their way back to play in the playoffs. the bulls are a competitive team. if that’s how you feel about how the bulls should play then there shouldn’t even be a playoffs and just let Miami head to the finals.

  44. nba fan says:

    rose take your time