Derrick's (Not So) Rose-y Future
With just over one minute left to go in Game One of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, what seemed like an easy win for the top-seeded Chicago Bulls became a heartbreaking pyrrhic victory. Reigning MVP Derrick Rose charged the into the paint of Chicago's United Center. Coming off a high screen from Joakim Noah, Rose dribbled around Philadelphia center Spencer Hawes and leapt into the air, intending to dazzle Bulls fans, as well as millions of television viewers with one of the breathtaking, gravity-defying scoring drives that earned him legions of fans across the country. Instead, he released the ball in midair and crash-landed awkwardly on his left knee.
People who regularly watch Rose, a man known for his fierce competitiveness and his reckless style of play, know that Rose gets knocked down regularly. That was part of what made him special: Rose would consistently get shoved to the ground, only to rise again with even more determination and resolve than before. Over the years, waiting for Rose to compose himself up after an angry blow became an arbitrary part of watching Bulls games. Today, Chicago along with the rest of the world waited anxiously for Rose to pick himself up off the floor. Only this time, he didn't.
Instead of getting up and dusting himself off Rose lay on his home floor writhing in pain. The whole situation was just surreal, a nightmare of epic proportions. Countless players go down with serious knee injuries every year, yet somehow we never expect it to happen to the superstars. All of a sudden there he was, Derrick Rose, Chi-town's answer to the LeBron James and Paul Pierce led Eastern Conference juggernauts was rolling on the floor grabbing his knee. Imagine finding Superman lying helpless in a pool of blood in front of the Daily Planet. That is the level of ironic tragedy that accompanies Rose's injury. A twenty three year old superstar cut down in his prime on not only his team's home floor, but the very floor he dreamed about playing on since childhood. That astonishingly catastrophic image suffocated my brain to the point where it could only formulate one thought: This can't be happening, not here, not to D-Rose.
The most amazing part is that it indeed did happen. Derrick Rose tore both the ACL and the MCL of his left knee and is scheduled to miss the entire 2012 playoffs, as well as a significant part of the offseason. Tearing either one of those ligaments requires major surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Rose tore two ligaments, which is an entirely different undertaking. Repairing a knee that has suffered such great damage will take a tremendous dose of determination and sheer willpower. The silver lining in this situation is that if anyone can come back from such an injury, it is Rose who has youth, as well as an incredible work ethic on his side.Continued on the next page