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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Things aren’t always rosy for Bulls star Derrick Rose

A profile in the current issue of GQ Magazine doesn’t provide many new insights into Bulls
superstar Derrick Rose.
He’s an introvert in the intensely extroverted world of pro sports. He’s so beloved by Bulls fans that he’s unable to walk the streets of his hometown without causing a stir. He can look out the window of his 84th-floor condominium in Trump Tower, but others can’t look in.
Knowing that injuries continue to deny him the opportunity to
escape into the game he loves adds to the melancholy mood of the story.
‘‘It gets on my nerves that I just can’t go out,’’ Rose told writer Will Leitch. ‘‘It’s just boundaries now. People are like, ‘You can’t go here, you can’t go there, you’ve got to let that person know where you’re going.’ It’s just weird. I’m never alone. Ever.’’
You can’t blame Rose if it isn’t the uplifting tale many would
expect, given his meteoric rise to folk-hero status here. A lucrative contract extension from the Bulls and a lifetime contract with Adidas have secured the financial futures of Rose and his immediate family members. That should be enough to make it a banner year.
But Rose wants to earn his keep. For that reason, what has been the most frustrating of seasons for him soon might get even more so.
Rose missed his 24th game of the season Monday with an injury to his right foot suffered Sunday. That’s the fifth separate injury he has suffered this season. And although it isn’t known whether it will prevent him from playing Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats, there’s no disputing a theme has developed.
In just his fourth NBA season, Rose can’t stay healthy. There has been some debate about whether his toe injury resulted in back spasms, leading to the strained groin, resulting in a twisted ankle that contributed to his current foot injury. Some medical folks think the link is as elementary as the thigh bone being connected to the hip bone. Others say there’s no way to prove it.
Whatever. The previous injuries wouldn’t necessarily prevent Rose from accomplishing what he must — playing at his best when the postseason begins — for the Bulls to challenge the Miami Heat again. This latest injury, though, might jeopardize his ability to use the final five games of the regular season as a springboard to a deep playoff run.
Even if it’s not a serious injury, the best-case scenario for Rose and the Bulls might have left the building. Even if Rose is healthy enough to return Wednesday against the Bobcats or Thursday against the Heat, it seems fair to question whether he can remain so after his recovery from one
injury seems only to lead to another this season.
We know how driven Rose is. He admitted again in the GQ story that Michael Jordan’s legacy drives him. It’s not as though the injuries are the result of a questionable work ethic. Rose might be the hardest-working player in the NBA, leading some to suggest his offseason workout regimen is too strenuous.
That smacks of hypocrisy. A young star working himself into the best shape of his life before the most demanding season of his
career is a sign of maturity.
‘‘I’ve run into him a couple of times, but we don’t have a relationship,’’ Rose said of Jordan in the article. ‘‘His titles drive me. I’m not scared of him; if anything, it makes me work harder when I do train.’’
To describe Rose as injury-prone in his career is unfair
because he has been relatively injury-free until this season. To say he has been injury-prone this season is a cold fact.
We might never know why his body is betraying him. But watching his team play without him, like watching Chicagoans go about their lives far below his penthouse window, is likely equally isolating.

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