SHOULD A ROSE BLOOM?
Question: Should Derrick Rose play during the playoffs this season?
…..Ok, I’ll explain. Even though Derrick Rose has been cleared to play, coming off major knee surgery can be as taxing mentally as it is physically. Basketball is a game of rhythm. If he’s not ready mentally & his rhythm isn’t right, then why play? He’s being paid $95M to represent the franchise for the rest of the decade health permitting. If he’s holding that kind of responsibility, then let him be responsible for his body to be at its best. Those looking to ostracize him for sitting the bench aren’t thinking clearly. Asking any player (even a superstar) that missed a whole regular season to now come into a playoff series to, A) get his game rounded out & his rhythm in order and B) do so without thinking about his knee is preposterous. Or worse, to rush him in to come off the bench & play 15-20 monitored minutes a game. That’s like asking Chris Martin to come back to Coldplay, play the guitar & sing backup during a World Tour.
The Bulls’ concern SHOULD be to the future. In Game 3 the 2003 Western Conference Finals, Dirk Nowitzki badly strained his right knee against the San Antonio Spurs. Pressed with the opportunity to play the remainder of the series with a trip to the Finals on the line, Head Coach Don Nelson decided to shut down their 24-yr old cornerstone. You think they regret that decision now? Within the next 10 years, he’s surpassed 25,000 points, played in 11 All Star games, won the 2007 MVP, brought the franchise their 1st title, a future 1st ballot Hall of Famer becoming one of the best players of his generation & helping solidify value to the franchise around the league. I’m pretty sure it was worth it for them. Now a similar situation may occur with Russell Westbrook. While the team says that he’ll be out for the rest of the playoffs following knee surgery, if OKC makes it to the Finals again in June & Westbrook is way ahead of schedule, will he get the pressure to sacrifice the long term goals for the now?
Remember when Brandon Roy had late season surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee in 2010, then came back, & was ahead of schedule to play at less than 100% for the Trailblazers who didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting out of the first round vs. Phoenix? How did that turn out? His knees — never being 100% to begin with coming into the league — was never the same after the series & is most likely retiring after this season for a second time partly due to no one protecting his future in Portland. How about Gilbert Arenas who tore his MCL in 2007 after running through a 3-year span as one of the most explosive guards in the NBA? Everyone loved him when he came back early from his knee surgery…. until he started overcompensating for that same knee, ending up having more surgeries & injuries within the next 2 years. Arenas & the Wizards haven’t been the same since. Where is he now? The Far East trying to recoup what’s left of his career (well, that & shaking off the “Gunplay” image.) It serves no purpose for Rose to come back. Protect him, protect the future of his career, and protect the franchise. By continuing to release reports on his status , Chicago’s PR team is putting the pressure on him to get back on the court & create more short-term buzz financially to the team. It’s refreshing that he’s strong enough mentally to take care of his most valuable asset: himself.
Don’t underestimate Friday’s deal that the MLSE made with appointing Tim Lieweke their President & CEO. Anyone who hasn’t followed his career needs to sit up & take notice to the possibilities that are now open to the Toronto Sports scene. Here’s the main feature to understanding Lieweke: Tim is a MAJOR player in the Sports & Entertainment world who only aligns himself to major projects (ie. Bringing David Beckham to MLS). Mediocrity is NOT in his vocabulary, so for anyone thinking Bryan Colangelo is sticking around to continue what he’s been doing (ie. Wanting to sign Rudy Gay to an extension even though he has 2 more years left at $37M & has NEVER played in an All Star Game), I’m not sure what else there is to say….. Of many quotes that’s been said in basketball, the phrase, “You live by the jumper, you die by the jumper” has always been one of the truest. Well, I’m willing to live by Steph Curry’s jumper for the foreseeable future….. As much as I am on the Clippers Bandwagon (I currently reside in the VIP Section), I still can’t help but think why Blake Griffin isn’t better than he is. I’ve had this debate with others in the last couple of months but I ask, how can he be considered the best Power Forward in the game when he gets 2 rebounds in a game? Too many times this season he’s had 5 rebounds or less beside his name. Somewhere between his rookie season & Game 5 of this series, he has regressed rebounding-wise. We really can’t expect the Clippers to go far in the post season if Griffin & DeAndre Jordan can’t control the paint & are using their hops for lobs that’ll rarely come during this time of the season.
Cal Cee // South Shore Ave
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