Long-time Chicago sports commentator Mike North has some advice for Derrick Rose that I completely agree with:
We all have defended his stance, including myself, but with no end in sight and the possibility looming of Rose missing the entire season, the take on D-Rose just might dip dramatically.
Look, being from a tough neighborhood doesn’t automatically make you tough. D-Rose has never experienced adversity on the court of this magnitude, and there’s no doubt it has messed with his mind. He said the other day he is getting the right amount of sleep and eating right.
Hey I’m glad about that, but what’s the point here? The statement sounded like it came from a spokesperson for Michelle Obama’s obesity campaign.
When Rose gets back we will all be thrilled, but the road back seems suspect right now.
The other night I watched Joakim Noah limping around with foot problems; I saw a less-than-100-percent Kirk Hinrich gut it out. Most athletes in all the major sports play at less than 100 percent — just ask anyone of them.
I’m hearing D-Rose wants to be out there. I’m sure he does, but as his uniform hangs in his locker and he is unable to answer the bell, at least we know he is eating his spinach and getting a solid eight hours a night.
Professional athletes must play through the pain and fatigue and fear and uncertainty. Your teammates need you, and you have to fight through your fears as long as the doctors have cleared you from a physical health perspective. And this is especially so when you are the team leader, as Derrick Rose most definitely is. When the other veterans on the team are dealing with injuries and finding ways to get on the court, every day that Rose chooses to remain on the sidelines chips away at his reputation and his credibility as a leader.
And his closest advisers, like his agent and his brothers and his teammates, ought to grab the Bull by the horns right now, and have a frank discussion with Rose: “It’s time to swallow hard, take a deep breath, and get your butt out on the court. You have obligations.”