It's been a rough summer for Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, as he recovers from a knee injury that ended his 2011-12 season and is expected to keep him out for much of the 2012-13 season. Recently, we've run down some of the things that Rose is dealing with, and we watched him break down in tears during a launch event for his new signature sneaker.
There's a lot on his mind, no question, and there's been a lot said about it. With the Bulls eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and Rose hard at work recovering but away from the cameras, it was easy to overlook another source of pain for the 2011 MVP: He was forced to sit out the 2012 London Olympics.
In the latest episode of an Adidas video documentary titled "The Return," Rose admits it wasn't easy to miss out on an opportunity to win a gold medal with USA Basketball.
"My biggest fight right now, I would have to say, is just staying focused," he explains, "being patient because I'm impatient. If you think about it, I never stop. This is the only time in my life where I actually stopped playing basketball. Even in high school I was always going. Then thinking I was going to be able to play in the Olympics this year, it just killed my dreams."
Rose, 23, was a member of the USA's gold-medal team during the 2010 World Championships in Turkey, where he averaged 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Without question, he should have another chance to represent his country in the Olympics. He'll still be in his early prime during the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro. It's quite possible that he could still earn two gold medals before all is said and done.
The injury-ravaged Americans still defeated Spain for the gold medal in London, even without Rose, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge and others. The USA lineup included three point guards: Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook.
As disappointing as the injury and absence were, Rose tries to strike an upbeat tone as the video unfolds.
"This injury gives me time to appreciate the people that's around me," Rose says. "Be grateful for what I have. Just live life. ... Hard work pays off, and I seen it actually pay off the year that I won MVP. I worked extremely hard, so I know that all this stuff is going to pay off one day."
Gold in Rio would be a pretty good payoff.