Derrick Rose leaves the locker room after Friday night’s game against Portland.
It wasn’t the worst case scenario for Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose, but the news was no less devastating. An MRI performed on Rose’s right knee revealed a medial meniscus tear which will need surgery. No timetable has been set for Rose’s return to action.
“The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together.” – Saadi
Derrick Rose knew something was wrong the instant he planted his left foot to pursue Portland’s Nicholas Batum after he stole a pass from Joakim Noah. Everything looked normal until Rose’s right knee buckled, causing his left leg to move awkwardly. Rose immediately headed to the Bulls bench and eventually to the locker room.
I thought of Gayle Sayers when hearing of Rose injury. Sayers was the star-crossed super star running back for the Chicago Bears in the mid-1960’s. Sayers was nicknamed the “Kansas Comet” because of his blurring speed and ability to shift directions — an attribute Rose possesses with a basketball. A backfield wizard and special teams dynamo, Sayers entered the NFL during the heyday of the great Jim Brown. Sayers was on a parallel with Brown when it came to production on the field, respect around the league and the highlight effect. Two serious knee injuries ended Sayers’ career after six NFL seasons. Sayers was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1977 — leaving an unfinished masterpiece of a career.
Like Sayers, Rose has played in the looming shadow of an icon for his entire career. LeBron James is the midst of one of the great personal runs in NBA history. If it were not for Rose winning the NBA MVP after the 2010-11 season, James would have certainly won the award, giving him five in a row. Rose returned to the Bulls after missing all the 2012 season after tearing his left ACL in the 2011 NBA Playoffs.
I refuse to write off Derrick Rose and I recommend the same of those who take other’s words as gospel. Modern science didn’t allow us to see what the careers of Sayers, O.J. Simpson, Sam Bowie, Andrew Toney and others would ultimately become.
This isn’t a dead Rose ready to be placed in the middle of a book to for posterity — though frayed and weathered — plenty of life remains.