By Chris Long
In the early spring of 2007 Derrick Rose and the Simeon Academy basketball team marched into the Peoria Civic Center, hoods up and ear buds in. Before they even stepped on the court, it was obvious every other team (including that year’s Boylan team featuring Tori Boyd) was playing for second place.
Eight years later, Bulls fans want to know if that Simeon High School State Championship will be the only (non-FIBA) title he wins.
In 2007, sports fans looked at Rose and saw The Next Big Thing. He would have likely been a lottery pick even before his mandatory stint at Memphis.
In another eight years from now, sports fans might look at his career they way they do at that of Ken Griffey Jr.: a dynamic, marketable athlete, known best for injuries preventing him from higher levels of success.
In the last eight years Rose has seemingly put 80 years worth of stress on his knees. From a non-medical standpoint it appears this results from the way he cuts and slashes on the court. The very nature of how he plays the game, paradoxically, looks like it will be the reason he’ll likely never again play at such a high level.
The tear, which isn’t as significant as the one he had in 2013, has been linked to the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane fractured clavicle. The comparison between the two should start and end with their chronological proximity. In every significant category–team’s chances without him, impact on career–they’re miles apart.
Of course Kane was playing at a MVP level when he went down Tuesday night. His 64 points goals and assists combined were good enough to tie him with Philadelphia’s Jakob Voracek and Washington’s Niklas Backstrom for the most in the league and he accounted for 38 percent of Chicago’s offense.
That said, Rose is still probably more valuable to his team than Kane.
Depending on the source, Kane is expected back in 6-12 weeks, in time for the later rounds of the playoffs. He’s expected to be 100 percent when he’s back.
By contrast, there’s no time table for Rose’s return, although sources inside the Bulls indicated to 670 The Score’s David Schuster they expect a speedy recovery for the guard.
That said, even if doctors laid out a date for Rose’s return to action, based on his history, who knows if he’d be mentally ready to get back on the court.
It’d be irresponsible to argue this knee injury will effectively end his career. In another eight years sports fans could look back at how Rose used this adversity as fuel (as his college coach believes will) for a championship.
Bulls fans would love a seventh championship, myself included. But let me know if YOU want to bet on a Bulls championship in which they’re led by their 2008 number one overall draft pick.