“What if I told you…”
It’s a catchphrase we’ve become familiar with since ESPN began its “30 for 30” film campaign in 2009. Produced by Bill Simmons, the ESPN 30 for 30 films aim to provide fans and critics alike with under-told stories of the most interesting events in sports history.
The city of Chicago has been featured in three of ESPN’s documentaries: Jordan Rides The Bus about Michael Jordan’s abrupt retirement from basketball to pursue baseball, Catching Hell which painfully recounts the infamous Steve Bartman incident in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, and Benji about the life of Chicago high school basketball star Ben Wilson – and his murder in 1984.
But I can’t help but feel that the city of Chicago is entangled in yet another made-for-TV script adequately titled,
“Every Rose Has Its Torn…”
Or maybe, “Seldom Blossomed, The Derrick Rose Story.”
Whatever the title, Derrick Rose’s latest knee injury does remind us that nightmares do happen outside of Elm Street. The one Chicagoans are currently entrapped in on West Madison is equally fit for the small screen.
By now I don’t need to refresh anyone on the latest development in the Derrick Rose saga. You can go here for that.
But what I’ve noticed in the past 20 or so hours since the news broke is that some people need a very harsh reality check — namely other professional athletes.
Hundreds of tweets from Rose’s NBA brethren have poured in showing an overwhelming amount of support and spiritual benevolence. Awesome. They’re all in this whirlwind business and stick together, I get it. God is great, yes. I believe in him too, but does he really give the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers?
What does that even mean?
Also, let’s tuck away this tired response of “he’s going to make it back better and stronger than ever.”
No, he’s not.
Derrick Rose was never going to be the same player after his first ACL tear. That was three years ago. Since then he’s torn his meniscus twice, and prior to the most recent occurrence – he barely looked like the third best player on the Bulls at times.
Now, all of a sudden he’s magically coming back stronger than ever, whenever that is?
I’m not being a hater or an asshole. I’m being realistic. Derrick Rose’s knees are made of tissue paper.
The Chicago Bulls and their fans have reached a crossroads. Personally, I, along with everyone else, feel bad for Derrick Rose the person. This is a guy’s livelihood we’re talking about. For how bad this sucks for us, imagine how he’s feeling today.
Yet from an organizational standpoint, the Bulls owe him a lot (like a lot) of money in the coming years. You tell me when the accountability starts.
When Rose was awarded his lucrative contract it was certainly justified. But now, almost four seasons removed from his MVP award, it’s time to stop holding hands and singing “kumbaya.” His NBA career isn’t over, but his time being a superstar is.
Going into 2016, the Chicago Bulls would probably be best served acting like Derrick Rose isn’t their starting point guard. Financially, it’s blasphemous. And physically, it’s become an unfortunate marriage.
I get it, it’s hard to fault a guy for something as uncontrollable as knee problems, but sometimes reality is a pill best swallowed without water.
It pains me to say this, but the Derrick Rose era in Chicago is all but over. Regardless of God or anybody else – the script has been mostly written, and this documentary will eventually come to a screen near you.
And when it does, don’t expect a happy ending.