NBA / May 10, 2013 / 11:00 am

The Next Time You Whine About Derrick Rose Not Playing, Think About Grant Hill

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose (photo. adidas)

I received a text yesterday afternoon. It was from a friend, who mentioned that someone had said to him that they no longer respected Derrick Rose.

I do not live under a rock, ergo I know that everyone who watches basketball and has a Twitter account and/or a voice box has had an opinion on Rose’s knee. I also know that the athletes whom are familiar with Rose’s injury in some way (Marcus Lattimore, Adrian Peterson, Iman Shumpert and Ricky Rubio to name a few) have had absolutely nothing bad to say about Derrick. And you know why?

They lived through it.

I’m going to do my best Roger Goodell impersonation in terms of making up rules on the fly here and instate a new one for Derrick Rose’s knee: If you’ve never had the injury, you can no longer comment on his heart, his toughness, his commitment to basketball, his mental state and whether or not you’d be back playing basketball by now, because much like men who comment on a woman’s pregnancy, you have no idea.

Have you noticed that not a single one of Derrick Rose’s teammates have had one bad thing to say about him?

Not so much as a hint of disrespect has been shelled out by a single player on that roster. No one has thrown him under the bus at any point. None of them. Not in a press conference, not in a radio interview, not in a tweet. Nothing. And you can bet that if any of them thought poorly of him, that one of them would have slipped up by now. Do you want to know why they respect him? Do you know why they have his back? Do you know why they take him at his word when so many others do not?

They know him. They respect him.

Teammates respect Derrick Rose because Derrick Rose is one thing if nothing else. Humble.

He was a Rookie of the Year. He’s an All-Star, a superstar. He’s a MVP. He has a monster sneaker deal. All of this, and he’s yet to turn 25 years young.

Given everything Derrick has amassed in his young NBA career, he remains humble. More humble than you and me, who possess not a fraction of his riches. He’s not once let it get to his head. He’s not once put himself above his team. I’m not even sure he’s once called the Bulls “his” team. He’s simply a part of it. And he’d be the first to say it.

Do you know how hard it is for a 24-year-old to not let any of this go to his head? To remain grounded? Much like his injury, you probably don’t, because you’ve never dealt with it. Many who have though, didn’t keep that even head on their shoulders. And if you’re unsure as to why, I’ll tell you: much like returning from a torn ACL, it’s not an easy thing to do.

There’s been more fuss about Derrick’s knee than Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn‘s relationship. I assume most of it is based on the fact that there hasn’t been any assumptions from the Bulls on when he’ll return. I assume another lump of it is ticked off Chicago fans dying to see their star in action. I assume another portion of it comes from basketball fans who forget these athletes are people, and that not all people are alike.

Fans of the sport witnessed Adrian Peterson rush for 2,000 yards last season. They also witnessed Iman Shumpert put back a ridiculous tomahawk slam in Game 2 versus Indiana. They see these instances and assume that because Derrick Rose isn’t out on the court putting up Derrick Rose numbers that some how he’s soft.

Derrick Rose grew up in South Side Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. He was pushed around and beaten up by three older brothers, also ballplayers. He gave his all in every game of his career to this point. games that awarded him the All-Star appearances, games that awarded him the Most Valuable Player, and unfortunately, after playing through injuries most of last year, a game that lead to his torn ACL in the fourth quarter of a playoff game. A game that, by the way, he shouldn’t have even been in at that point. So in case you’re uncertain, Derrick Rose is tougher than eating jello with chopsticks.

Perhaps what Derrick Rose really is… is smart.

Keep reading to see why we don’t want D-Rose to be the next Grant Hill…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kingsley.a.rowe Kingsley Arthur Rowe

    Thank you for writing this article. I have observed in utter disgust at the media and fans who are trying to shame Rose into playing when he is not really to play. Rose has so much character both in his personal and professional life and to insinuate that somehow he is being selfish for taken care of himself and wanting to be absolutely sure he is 110%. It is really important for these individuals to note that Rose has his whole future ahead of him and for him to rush back because “people who are not in the know” feel he is ready. No one is going to take care of Rose but Rose. None of these clowns are going to if Rose is injured and unable to play again. Thank you so much, Mr. Confer.

  • Mahmoud Sabawi

    This is stupid logic. If you’ve never murdered, you can’t comment on murderers. If you’ve never been raped, you can’t comment on rapists. The logic doesn’t fit. He has no heart. He has no devotion. He’s scared. He’s cowardly.

  • disqus_zVcwTIQWv6

    Aside from your totally flawed logic on who can have an opinion on Derrick Rose’s knee, Rose has been told by doctors that there is no added risk of re-injuring his knee, so your comparisons with Grant Hill are not relevant. No one is trying to shame Rose into playing, but it seems pretty clear that his team need him, and while his team-mates are putting their bodies on the line he continues to sit out. No one is saying he has to be the same Derrick Rose he was pre-injury just yet, but any minutes not going to Marquis Teague are a positive. And yes I’ve had the injury and op so I am qualified to question his decision.

  • 2chainz

    this is a great article man

  • skjdiwejfdiwej

    chainz????

  • http://twitter.com/Quiznakes Kwaku Danso

    This article is weak. Yeah, Rose has been cleared to play and he’s being cautious, but gimme a break. He’s been practicing since the All-Star break, then it comes out that he’s not comin back til he can dunk and land on his repaired leg. Two weeks later, he does. Then he ain’t comin back til he scrimmages so then he does that. Now he’s in full contact, full speed 5 on 5 as his team crumbles around him. Hinrich’s out, Nate’s gettin beat up, Deng almost died, Noah could barely walk and Rose can’t even try?
    The biggest strike against Rose is that Iman Shumpert tore his ACL on the SAME DAY, came back months ago, was rusty and ineffective for weeks and after that sick, one handed putback, is officially back and takin minutes from J.R.
    His teammates may be covering for him for now and the team is guttin it out makin his brother’s ridiculous comments look foolish now, but I bet, around the league, dudes are snickering…

  • Eduardo

    I’m not going to discuss the actual opinion on this article, but I hope you understand that by your own logic, you shouldn’t write about NBA basketball because you’ve never played on the NBA. That’s how stupid it sounds. We all have bad days=)

  • http://twitter.com/whudat whudat

    Derrick Rose is inviting criticism, instead of shutting it down for the season, he continues to flirt with the idea of coming back. He practices, took shots before a few playoff games, meanwhile, “he’s not ready.” His teammates are busting their behinds out there and he can’t give 10-15 minutes of support? If he’s not physically capable of that, then he’s truly not ready and should stop the wavering.

    If not now, when? The finals?

    Just say, “I can’t play this year.”

    People would respect that.

  • vonstranglehold

    ok this is a stupid article…. lets just say… “lets not comment on food we have never tasted” “lets not comment on a war you’ve never fought” “lets not comment on a country you’ve never visited” “lets not comment on a person you’ve never met” “lets not comment on work you haven’t done” this is a stupid article because its soooo contradicting… D.Rose may not want to come back because of his mental state… but at some point…. its time to put the team before yourself !