One of the major differences between Derrick Rose’s latest season-ending injury and his last one is that the former league MVP’s torn left ACL occurred in the playoffs, both at and prompting the end of the Bulls’ campaign.
Rose rehabilitated in Los Angeles over the summer and because he wasn’t fully recovered in time to begin last season, the sideshow of when he would address the media, start practicing with the team and if he would return to the court became a major distraction, regardless of the intent. This time around, his comeback campaign was deemed over by the organization immediately after his torn right medial meniscus was surgically repaired, there isn’t much for Rose to address moving forward, as everyone knows the situation involves his rehabilitation and expectations that he will make a late-season return are minimal, despite the point guard leaving the window open a crack at Thursday morning’s press conference, held at the United Center.
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While addressing the assembled media at the United Center, there was a sense that Rose was at peace with things, having thought things over and determining that if he was capable of recovering from a more serious ailment, he would just have to grit his teeth and do it all over again.
“I don’t have anything to complain about. I think the hard part that I had to go through in life, period, is living in poverty and not being able to get what I want. I’ve got everything that I want and I just can’t play the game that I love playing. I have my son. I think he’s going to be huge in this process, me having to be around him a lot,” he explained.
“I don’t know if God wants me to slow down a little bit. Me having this time, time off just to think and grow as a man, grow as a businessman. Of course I’m a basketball player, but with Adidas and all the other endorsements that I have, we had some great ideas that were coming out and not having a chance to really execute them, that kind of hurt. But basketball, I’m not worried about basketball.
“If I’m not rehabbing, I’m with my son. I’m usually with him almost every other day. After the surgery, I was in the house for like five days straight, didn’t come outside, wasn’t able to because I wasn’t able to move the way I wanted to. It’s always that way around, these days, a week after surgery, you can’t do anything. You can’t drive. It’s cool.”
Instead of being off in California for the majority of the time, it seemed as if Rose was looking forward to being around his teammates and encouraging them, as he did toward the end of last season’s inspirational, gritty run.
“Oh yeah, for sure. Just be around, just be a leader. Let them hear my voice. I get a chance to look at the game a different way, especially if I go sit on the bench every game, kind of look at it as a coach and just try to learn every game,” Rose said.
“They’ve been great. Super good. Texting me, making sure that I’m fine, trying to send me food, so much stuff. I’m just feeling love, especially from the organization and my teammates. Just making sure that I feel comfortable. When I’m around them, they don’t talk about it. Of course they ask probably one question. Then it’s a regular conversation and I appreciate that.”
But as humble as he always comes off, Rose remained defiant about his future, particularly regaining his spot amongst the NBA’s elite individual players.
“I’m not done. I know that He’s preparing me for something bigger. Of course right now, when you’re living in the moment, you just don’t understand certain things,” he said. “But I think if I was to look 10 years from now and be in the future looking back, I think this is going to be minor. It’s something that just happened. I’m never going to stop. Like I said, I could tear it or hurt myself 10 more times; I’m never going to stop. Never.”