Bulls’ fans feel more committed than Rose sounds


VIDEO: An excerpt from Rachel Nichols’ interview with Derrick Rose

CHICAGO – Relationships, they say, only go as far as the least committed person. And right now, Chicago Bulls fans feel more committed than Derrick Rose sounds.

There’s the disconnect. There’s the source of the angst and polarization over Rose’s comments earlier this week in which he seemed to put his life after basketball ahead of his $95 million contractual obligations to the Bulls.

That’s really what it comes down to, doesn’t it? No one begrudges Rose the opportunity to attend his son’s graduation 15 years from now or attend business meetings without feeling “all sore,” in his words. But if that’s his priority – and his comments after practice Tuesday made it sound that way – then he was either impossibly naïve or borderline insulting to the people who pay that massive salary.

That would be Bulls management, of course, but also the people who buy tickets, wear No. 1 jerseys and support the advertisers from the team’s telecasts even if they do not or cannot pony up the bucks necessary to attend games at United Center.

The “Inside The NBA” TNT crew lit up Rose on their pregame show before the Bulls-Raptors game Thursday night, with Charles Barkley in particular calling him out for the “stupid” remarks. Even if you wring out the natural tendency of retired athletes to go too often to the “back in my day” stance, what’s left is this simple choice:

If Rose is that worried about anticipated aches and pains when his toddler son graduates from high school or limping down the aisle with a future daughter, he can make this contract his last. Or retire now.

What he can’t do – and retain the adoration of Bulls fans and the respect of many peers – is modulate his performance and availability while drawing his current paychecks.

People both inside and outside the organization are quick to tell us what Rose “meant to say.” Reggie Miller, working the game Thursday night with Kevin Harlan, sounded eager to defend him too, based on a strong performance against the Raptors. But Rose’s words speak for themselves, especially after he doubled down on them in Toronto after shootaround and again in a TNT sit-down with Rachel Nichols. The young man is 26 years old, he can speak his mind and the fact is, management has done him no camera-savvy favors by sheltering him from the typical media demands on a franchise player.

That he said it in the midst of a minor injury inconvenience – two sprained ankles that were said to be getting better over the past two weeks, until his late-game breakdown Thursday – doesn’t much matter.  This was big-picture stuff, going beyond the present to raise questions about the past (as in, could Rose really have come back in 2012-13 after doctors cleared him?) and the future.


VIDEO: Rose takes a tumble and appears to tweak his left ankle

Several Bulls teammates have voiced support for Rose, saying his commitment to the team is clear. But that’s dog-bites-man – show me a teammate who would be quoted on the record challenging the hometown star.

What rankles some fans is what Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith talked about – lots of people who work harder than Rose go home each night to a shack. Others, whether they know it or not, do not like having peeled back the curtain between them and their sports passions. How can Rose not care as much as we do?

Rose admitted to Nichols that he was a more reckless player in his first two years in the NBA. He still was reckless and available enough in Year 3 to become the league’s youngest Most Valuable Player ever. But two serious knee injuries, effectively wiping out the past two seasons, appear to have forced on Rose a sense of mortality. That matters to him and his, hopefully for another 70 years or so.

People who look to Rose, the Bulls and to sports as an outlet from their own demanding, tedious, perhaps tiring lives think mostly about the next 10 or 12 years. Had Rose said he was taking extra precautions now – and games off – so that he might still be playing for the Bulls a decade from now, or that November doesn’t matter if he can be healthy in April to chase a title, no one would have said boo about Pooh.

That’s not what he said. He gave folks a sense that he cares less about the here and now than they do, and that’s the first pull on a thread that unravels this great sports fascination.

54 Comments

  1. Charles Willams says:

    Kobe Bryant should just enjoy himself untill help comes along. How about Kendall Marshall? Maybe he will win the scoring title. That should give him a lift after his injuries.When will Shaggy P be activated?

  2. verysadokcfan says:

    At least the Bulls are doing better than OKC. All their starters are MIA. sniff sniff.

  3. "Smart" NBA fan says:

    drose i am a Kobe fan but i admire you as a player. be strong thru these injuries and ignore your own Bulls fans. bc at the end of the day you come home and sleep with your family. when you get old and gray whos gonna have your back? your family not these fans who always bash you just like how they bash kobe. fans of the NBA are some of the worst people ever. i consider drose to be a humble person i look up to him. to hear him say such things i feel bad for him. you people are like ruining the dude. why dont you all just shut up and watch the game and be lucky you get to see him play. i on the other hand am lucky to see kobe play after 2 seasons of injuries just like drose we lost stev nash forever hes gone and now julius randle is already down for the rest of this season anyways.

  4. Devon ChI says:

    Some fans huh. Rose has always gave it his all when he could. Before the injuries he gave everyone the impression that he was playing for his city and family, which he was with out a doubt. But the moment he makes a comment about himself and how critical he feels it is to take care of his body people decide to question his loyalty to the city of Chicago and its fans. All the man wants is to be healthy in the long term. People make it as though he will sit out games on purpose for his health which is not the case. Lets not forget the case with Brandon Roy and his injuries and what they did to his career. So give Derrick a break people, he needs our support. Whether your a Rose fan or not, you have to admit that him being healthy is good for the NBA.

  5. swagy boy says:

    Roy i hope that you are a bulls fan because tonight when d rose went down you would be scared because you know that bulls needs him to win a champ. Any ways rose never said he was not commited to the team, he just said he wanted to be healthy. at least he tells us the truth, hey roy what would you put first your career or your family. would you be happy if they said they will trade or “dump” the best your player on your favorite basketball team. think first before you post comments on websites becayse some peopke love the athletes yoy are talking about

  6. JasonB says:

    I have to agree with the author. I loved Derrick. He was the golden boy of the league and he has damaged his brand so badly. He used to be so humble, all about the team, and all about proving he is the best. Now he looks like he doesn’t really care about the team or the fans. And I can’t believe that, when given a chance to clarify his statement, he did nothing to improve that perception. He needs a PR consultant at least.

  7. I have no problem with what Derrick Rose said the nba lifestyle is different from regular jobs. I feel his major injuries he had made him put things in perspective on life Most players nba careers are over by 35. He has over 100 million that will come to him when his career is all said and done. And he’s getting criticized for having major injuries anyway. so why not look at your life long-term? Instead of sacrificing his body for a billion owner. Donald Sterling says hi….

  8. Jake says:

    He should retire if he still wants to walk in the age of 40.
    Derrick Rose is very fragile with brittle bones, Basketball doesn’t fit to him anymore.
    If you do comeback again healthy, after 3 games you’ll be in the hospital again.

  9. BonnieBear29 says:

    Bulls fans gotta chill. Yes, it’s Rose’s job is to play, but not to cripple himself. He knows if he gets another serious injury it’s pretty much a wrap on his career. Besides dude is playing well this year. Even if he misses 20-30 games the only thing that matters is that he is ready for the playoffs. Call it the D-Wade strategy.

    They’re 7-2 right now, they look good. They will be a contender with Rose averaging 20 points and 5 dimes per game. Relax and enjoy, this ain’t the Bears we’re watching here.

  10. KC says:

    Rose+Dunleavy for Rondo and Jeff Green

    Rondo – Brooks
    Butler – Kirk
    Green – McDermott
    Gasol – Mirotic
    Noah – Gibson

  11. Someone Else says:

    I just wonder if the issue with this is that the severe injury problems Derrick Rose has had over the last few years have affected him mentally. If so maybe a talk with a psychiatrist would help.

  12. hunter says:

    trade for john wall

  13. TTKIN says:

    His comments were really screwed up, but he’s not wrong for sitting. If he had a sore thumb or something, ya it’d be a big deal.

    But he’s had surgery on both knees….serious surgery, not minor. He had ankle injuries, and then pulled a hammy. All those are related to the legs (obviously).

    U want him to play with 2 surgically repaired knees while his hamstring is out of commission? So he favors his other leg and tears his knee apart again? Then has to answer questions for the next yr about why he was playing (cuz Idk if any of u remember, but when he tore that ACL, all Thibs and Rose were asked the next few months was “why was he in the game at the time?”)

    Like he said after his ACL rehab, “I either don’t play and am the villain, or I do play, am not 100%, and im the villain.”

  14. Tom York says:

    Steve Aschburner hasn’t written an accurate article for NBA.COM in a very long time. H’e always critical. Rose has suffered through so much rehab. I don’t know why, but he’s been a bulls hater for a long time. He obviously has issues with this team and works out of Chicago of all places. He reminds me a lot of Jay Marrioti. There seems to never be anything but pious BS written by him. I am writing this now just to say: Dude, you make me sick.

    • birdie says:

      So your premise is that being “critical” is necessarily not “accurate?”. Logic fail, buddy, logic fail.

  15. sanjay says:

    he will be injury prone for good because his game is pure train wreck with no finesse whatsoever. He has to learn from tony parker, if he wants to long last-and play some games-in this league.

  16. Jorge says:

    Very soft. In every generation there is a grant hill making money from the bench and hurting his team with the millions contract.

  17. Dee DeeSmith says:

    I totally agree with Roy. Retire, or get traded or buy out contract-whatever the case, Rose is hyped far too much and the Bulls can and need to do better!

  18. JH says:

    Rose knew what kind of job he was getting in to. He didn’t just wake up and say “oh I think I’ll try this nba thing for a little bit. There are hazards in every job but unlike regular 9-5s his job pays millions plus endorsements and some connected job when he decides to no longer play. It’s not about the money but he knew that playing pro ball was physical when he declared for the draft!!

  19. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    The bulls are just taken precautions with Rose, they have a new trainer this year. When ever Rose has a injury they will sit him and not let him play till he is ready. It sounds like the Bulls believe in Rose and want him to be healthy for the long run. Rose plays hard and seems to be a great person thinking about his family and not getting in to trouble, leave the guy alone two years of injurys, rehabing hard to come back, i can just imagine how Rose wants to be healthy and out there playing just as bad as the fans.

  20. Chris Davis says:

    I think he needs to get a different shoe endorsement. Those shoes don’t have enough grip for him. He keeps slipping and falling and coming down wrong etc…. I believe Jordan shoes might do him a little better in my opinoin. Cause Nikes can tend to slip too but not as much as Adidas

    • TTKIN says:

      I have Rose’s and they have a ton of grip for me. But I mean I don’t attack the basket the way he does. Im more of the D&3 player. Play defense and take spot up jumpers. I never thought of his shoes being the problem. With as aggressively as he attacks and how sharp he turns, that could def be part of it.

  21. Pablo says:

    One of the worst things that ever happened to Derrick was when he hooked up with B.J Armstrong. I liken it to when Mike Tyson hooked up with Don King. I’ve had an opportunity to speak with many players over the years, 99% of them were extremely cool and courteous. There was always one exception, B.J Armstrong. He was always extremely arrogant and indifferent. My daughter was crazy about him because he had such a baby face, but each time I tried to approach him he would just crush my little girl. Eventually she lost interest. “He that is walking with wise persons will become wise, he who is having dealings with stupid persons, will fare badly.”

  22. Emerson says:

    What could be said about D.Rose is that he is dealing with the same problem that affects thousands of athletes for other high performance sports around the world (like tennis, see Rafael Nadal struggling to play after injuries, or NFL with a list of hundreds of early retired players with damaged lives for ever). Well, if D.Rose needs to be more wise when talking, this is something, but if he wants to be more conservative when playing to take better care of his body, it seems a wise decision, regardless of the money paid for his performance. Or, could we ask about related insurance costs for stellar NBA players like D.Rose with body injuries in a sequence due to his professional duties compromising his health? Lawyers needed.

  23. Sorin says:

    The bulls should trade rose for a couple of good players and build a spurs-like team, without the “star” who is more out than in. If they could get a good point guard such as Isiah Thomas or Ty Lawson and a big man, they would be a much better team.

  24. He there says:

    but but….. i am a big fat dollar white man we payed you 95 million dollars now you must die for us !!!!!! thanks to all those human right activists i have to pay you 95 million dollars to exploit you until you can not walk anymore and you think long term?????? ooohhh the horror

  25. Samo says:

    Rose must stop pushing so hard, he should let the game come to him. To me, he doesn’t play smart ball. And too much 1on1, of course. He looked so weak in Spain… When Westbrook fixes his mind, he will definitely be way ahead of him.

  26. Must learn to adjust his game. He can improve and master his shooting. He can learn from NBA great like Steve Nash. Don’t have to play like before that much…

  27. Gem says:

    Rose is actually one of the few intelligent Players, who is always humble and not egocentric at all. No star-like behavior at all.
    I’m sure he plays with full energy as long as he plays.If he wants to retire early, he just should. I wouldn’t like to depend on a walking stick with 40. Nobody does.Maybe he wants to play ball with his kids.You mind him for that? And everybody should admire him for being honest and for sure more wisely than the author of this article.

    • People need to stop judging Derrick.. He speaks his mind and we have to respect it.. ITS HIS LIFE..

    • Knowledge says:

      Intelligent?! You have never seen a single interview with him have you? The dude couldn’t even take his own SAT… and you are trying to convince people he’s intelligent? If you gave him a penny for his thoughts, he’d try to give you some change back. Come on man; the lights are flashing, the gate is down, but the train is not coming.

  28. bdub says:

    To those who are lambasting D Rose: Have any one of you undergone injuries and a painful rehab for a couple of years? If not then shut your piehole!

  29. BullsEyeRay says:

    Talk about DRose. Look what Steve Nash has done the last two years in Lakerland. He’s openly conceded that he’s just rehabbing and collecting checks and will likely not play again. Rose is ballin’ when he’s out there.

  30. robertarias says:

    I’m glad to see people still supporting him. Maybe if they didn’t have that crazy schedule during the lockout year, Rose wouldn’t be going through all of these injuries….

  31. Dave says:

    This just in! Rose stubs his toe while doing commercial, says he’s very tough and will play through it. Management thinks otherwise.

  32. rayray says:

    BULLS’ FANS FEEL MORE COMMITTED THAN ROSE SOUNDS

    That’s a lie.

    True Bulls fans are behind Derrick Rose just as much as they are behind the Bulls.

  33. YAY says:

    How can he be so stupid? he can play jumpshot game with bulls while trying to make it to playoff… this guy and his manager should think about long term career… take it easy rose you can’t prove anything with a short career. Another Brandon Roy.. so sad nobody advise him… SAD!

  34. ballin says:

    Sounds like a very negative and hateful article here..haha Everyone says things from time to time and seeing how a camera is in his face 24/7 eventually something like that slips out from a man with the worst possible luck as far as injuries go.He is still putting up numbers not to mention playing with two sprained ankles to serve you hungry fans dieing to see him play while scrutinizing his every move.. Whats the healing time on a sprained ankle? I’d say the proper healing time is far more then 2 games rest.. If you fans want to see him coming playoff time then i suggest you fall back and stop pressuring this man to play. The ankles were a fluke accident caused by kyrie irving after he completely destroyed and humiliated him against the cavs. Im sure he will be back at full strength in no time if the media just falls back for once and stops writing these hateful articles. Meanwhile barkley and shaq are big men they dont run at lightning speed or are forced to twist and turn in the air to get a shot up over much taller defenders..Shaq and Barkley can stand in the paint and still grab rebounds and throw up hook shots at their size on injured nights..Not to mention they didnt come back from blowing out both knees while playing with two sprained ankles so fall back and let the man play…

  35. Davante says:

    I love drose and when I saw him fall in tonights game I was thinking please don’t be hurt. He is my favorite player and my motivation for basketball. #drose5boost

    • Knowledge says:

      You have very fragile idols.

    • alp says:

      i don’t get why people worship rose like he’s a god, but then theres a guy like russell westbrook who’s clearly better, but hated worldwide

      • TTKIN says:

        That’s cuz Westbrook is an a$$hole and Rose isn’t. (I love Rose, but don’t consider him like god-like or anything, and his comments actually kind of offended me.)

        Rose keeps quiet….every time Westbrook dunks, he celebrates like it’s the first time he’s ever touched the rim.
        Rose knows his limits now better than before, hence he takes it slower than he used to….Westbrook likes to think he’s his team’s best player, not the league MVP.

        I would love RW if he fixed those 2 things. But those are the 2 things that will never change with him.

  36. ajax says:

    Are you insane? Considering what’s going on with the NFL at the moment, you’re really going to call his motives into question?

    His job is not to cripple himself for our entertainment. If he cannot get himself out of this constant string of injury, then yes he will have to consider if it’s worth it, and yes so will any head office in the league, even the Bulls. But that’s for the future.

    Clearly you’ve never dealt with a sports related injury. If you don’t fix it right, it doesnt go away, it will get worse and it will affect other parts of your body. It’s obvious that tonight’s mishap was an ankle buckling – why did he just miss a couple games, again? Oh, his ankles? Doesnt seem like he’s not dedicated to me.

  37. Mike says:

    It looks like he just slipped on a wet spot but wow, I thought he would actually get through a whole game without getting hurt, although it’s not his fault. But the upside is that they are 7-2, great start to the season.

  38. TheKush says:

    I hope Rose’s words came out of frustration because based on how you the media make it sound. Rose sounds ready to hang em up!

  39. Billy Chonga says:

    Rose really needs to do something differently… Look how loose his shoes looked? Wtf? Tie them up tight as hell…

  40. Roy says:

    He should just retire lol. He is never going to be a factor again with all the injuries he’s had. He’s frail and useless now. Bulls should trade him or dump him for cap space.

  41. Yeah says:

    If rose only kept his mouth shut