I left my friends house to go home with the Bulls up 20 against the streaking Portland Trailblazers and Rose was shredding Portland’s defense with 17 in the first half. It all seemed to be coming together, the rust was coming off and the confidence in his left knee was growing with every acrobatic and graceful drive. As I sat down to watch the rest of the game, the first play I see is Derrick stopping, buckling, and limping. I was sitting in the same spot as I was when he went down in 2012. And just like that, the Chicago Bulls’ world was frozen in time once again.
The Bulls lost that 20 point lead and even worse, the entire city of Chicago lost their star. It seems like Deja Vu really. But this is worse than before. For the Bulls, this was the year, the year to win was now and in 60 seconds, it turned into a lost cause.
Reports say that Rose tore his right meniscus in his knee, cartilage tissue that keeps the bone and joints from rubbing against one another. It isn’t as bad as an ACL, but Rose could certainly miss the rest of the season and if he did, he will have played only 50 games in the past 3 years. He leaves a team that has already lost Jimmy Butler for 2-3 weeks with turf toe and has struggled to find their shot and suffocating defense that made them so good in the past.
Players across the NBA and of all sports tweeted out their prayers and well wishes for Rose who faces another long road of rehab, questions about his future and his physical toughness like last year. With the timetable being 1 to 6 months, we won’t know how long he will be out until the surgery is performed tomorrow in Chicago by the same man who repaired his other knee. At this point, I expect another conservative approach, making sure he’s 100% healthy and confident in his entire body. As for the Bulls future as an organization, what seemed like an incredible future only two years ago, has quickly changed into a vibe that no one wants to talk about or hear about, rebuild.
The Bulls only certain core at this point is Rose, Noah, Gibson and Butler. After that, tough to say anyone else is a lock to be kept. If Rose is out for the year, Deng will almost certainly be traded because he’s gone after this season regardless, something Bulls fans will be sad to see happen including myself. Although Boozer is playing like his contract more or less this year, he will be amnestied for money and free agency reasons. If you’re the Bulls and Rose is gone for the year, do you tank? No, Thibs will never let it happen. But the draft class is stunning and Jabari Parker would look lovely in red and create Chicago’s basketball greatest story line with two Simeon players on the same team in their hometown. Sorry, I’ll keep dreaming but at this point what else is there to look forward too? Gar and Pax have a lot to be worried about moving forward, it’s about time they start to do something creative and productive for an organization that needs it.
As for Chicago’s #1, it’s heartbreaking and that’s the only word that really sums up my feelings towards this. Anger too. Angered at the fact that it happens to one of the most hardworking, humble, and talented athlete professional sports has seen. I’d be lying to say I didn’t fear this the moment he stepped back on the floor against the Pacers in the preseason. I made sure I watched every game since because I didn’t know when he would go down. Every time he jumped, I could only wish that he’d come down fine. Yet his grace and power to the rim seemed like the old times. He was still clutch city when the Bulls needed him to be and it seemed as if everything was the same. At this point I’d give my ACL’s and Meniscus’ and I’m sure a lot of people in Chicago would do the same to watch him play at 100%. Just goes to show that nothing is a certainty in sports and in life. For Chicago’s greatest star has fallen, and like before, he’ll have to get back up again and show that he is every bit as great. But this time, it’ll be a whole lot harder. Here’s to a quick recovery D-Rose.