No one could have foreshadowed another devastating injury for Derrick Rose. The latest -- a meniscus tear in his right knee -- has stalled the Bulls' championship hopes, delayed Chicago's front office's efforts to build a team around their star, and generally left Bulls fans in a state of frustrated shock.
The last thing the organization needed was for word to get out that Rose was unhappy with the team's possible plans to re-build -- a direct result of his injury. But as The New York Daily News reported, “Rose has told several confidantes that he is worried that the Bulls will start to let the team hit the skids by allowing key players to leave via free agency, forcing him to go through a rebuilding program he wants no part of.”
Essentially, Rose doesn't want to come back to a team without valuable role players like Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. And from the former MVP's perspective, it's hard to blame him.
One columnist, Dan Bernstein of CBSChicago, took that report and penned a scathing indictment of Chicago's once-beloved Rose. “Complaining while not playing is a bad look for someone who has sold a phony reputation as a humble, team-oriented kid,” he wrote of the Chicago native.
"He'll take every last dollar, and enjoy all the team-supplied resources for medical consultations, surgeries, rehabilitation programs, and various therapists, only to ignore their professional opinions just because he feels like it," he wrote.
“It takes some nerve to call out his employers after they have paid him 30 percent of their salary cap to miss consecutive seasons,” he pointed out. And he's right in this regard. The Bulls front office has stood behind Rose, told him to return from his ACL injury on his own time frame, and had to deal with the perpetual nagging from Rose's inner circle. Bernstein mentions both Rose's brother, Reggie, as well as his agent, BJ Armstrong, who he says holds a grudge against the team's front office.
What it comes down to though is that it's not Rose's call what GM Gar Forman chooses to do with the Bulls' depleted, yet relentless roster. No one knows whether Rose is going to be the same player he once was, and of course Rose believes he's going to be a better version, but the Bulls can't bank on that and the inherent risks involved. Bernstein doesn't think that Rose deserves that benefit of the doubt, either.
“[Rose] opts for cartilage repair that requires a longer-term recovery, and then lacks the basic understanding of how that changes the team's title trajectory. As always, the Bulls are trying to take care of themselves while Derrick Rose tries to take care of Derrick Rose on the Bulls' dime,” he concluded.
It's an unfortunate situation that will continue to percolate until the trade deadline, and one that will only be magnified as the Bulls – currently losers of six of the last seven games – continue to struggle.