As the Chicago Bulls are battling with the Brooklyn Nets in their first round playoff series, whispers are growing into a full blown debate regarding whether or not Bulls PG Derrick Rose needs to come back after missing a year with a devastating injury. As other Bulls players play with injuries and Rose has been "medically cleared" the pressure is mounting for Rose to return to the court even though he's clearly not ready in his own mind.
Now, in some kind of publicity ploy, CBS Radio Chicago is trying to stir up fans' angst by having them write "open letters" to Derrick Rose to use on their airwaves. What, you thought they were actually going to send these letters in sacks of mail to Rose's house?
Did we not learn anything from what happened when Jay Cutler was unfairly trashed by the national media after getting injured during the NFC Championship Game? Did we not learn anything from Robert Griffin III trying to play injured and shredding his knee? Do Bulls fans want to see that happen to Derrick Rose and alienate him in the process, or do they want him to come back when he's fully healthy?
Now, we're whining about Rose. Look, I get it. I live in Chicago and I would love to see the Bulls go deep into the playoffs. I get the frustration of Rose sitting out while others, like Joakim Noah, play through injuries. I know we're all thinking, "Why hasn't he come back?"
But that's the thing – we have no idea why. Maybe he's not emotionally ready. "But Reva," you're surely thinking, "he gets paid like, $Texas to play, he should just suck it up."
Professional sports are weird. We idolize the players until they let us down – then we disassociate from them. If Rose is indeed the face of the Bulls, that's a lot of pressure. And when he comes back, he is expected to be at eleventy billion percent. Can we then blame him for taking his time? Or, do we demand that Rose go out and shred his knee like Robert Griffin III did?
Perhaps CBS means well in its attempt to allow fans to speak their mind, but they're making themselves the story. If the people closest to Rose haven't convinced him or the Bulls themselves (if they have even tried), what makes us think he will cave to Mike from Naperville?