Another championship contender is no longer a threat as the Chicago Bulls lose their superstar point guard for the remainder of the season. Derrick Rose who has plagued with injuries over the last four years is once again sidelined with another knee injury. He will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee; the same knee he injured in 2013.
Rose has been looked at as the savior to a city starving for an NBA championship since the departure of Michael Jordan. The Chicago native brought great promise and hope to a city which hadn’t had any in over a decade. He brought the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Championship in 2011 and was the first player to do so since Jordan in 98. He was awarded the league MVP that season and was the youngest player to ever win the award.
Following that season it seemed like the sky was the limit for this kid. He had signed a 5-year extension worth $94.3 million, which at the time seemed like a no-brainer. Unfortunately for Rose and the fans of Chicago, everything went downhill, and fast. During the first game in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, Rose tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Since sustaining that injury, Rose hasn’t played a full season and missed the entire 2012-2013 season.
The downward spiral that’s become Rose’s career since he sustained that initial injury has been catastrophic; not just for him but the Bulls organization and their fans.
During the 2010-2011 (MVP) season, Rose played 99% of the games averaging 25.0 PPG & 7.7 APG. Over the next four seasons (including this one) he’s played in a total of 33% of the games and averaged 19.5 PPG & 6.1 ASP. While his stats look pretty similar, his playing time has significantly decreased. He went from playing almost every game in 2010-2011, to barely making it on the floor the four following seasons combined.
Watching Rose continue to get injured has to be taking a toll on the Bulls front office. They invested a mini fortune into this kid and unfortunately haven’t received much in return. They’ve paid Rose $52.8 million over the last three years while he’s played sparingly (if at all) and trying to recover from injuries.
Once Rose’s NBA career comes to a close, I fear that it’s going to be headlined with the phrase, “What If…” For all his talents, the poor kid just can’t stay healthy. If he hadn’t sustained that injury during the 2012 playoffs, there’s no doubt that Chicago would’ve won an NBA title. Now, they’ll be lucky to make the playoffs in (if) any upcoming season(s) with a “healthy” Rose, let alone winning a championship.
Derick Rose entered the NBA with such promise that it makes what has happened over the course of the last few years so devastating. No one ever wants to see an athlete sidelined with an injury, but it sucks that much more when it’s a superstar who had singlehandedly rejuvenated a cities hope in their team.
I hope Rose comes back healthier, stronger and rejuvenated. He’s a great player who’s shown such resolve and determination throughout these hardships. Everyone loves a comeback, and if it happens, his would be one of the best; I know I’ll be rooting for him.