Ric Bucher's post on Basketball | Latest updates on Sulia
Lots of speculation if Reggie Rose was speaking on behalf of Chicago Bulls PG and his younger brother, Derrick, but
not a lot of discussion about the point Reggie was making: the Bulls have not been proactive about upgrading the team's talent after it came up short two years ago in the conference finals vs. the Heat. If anything, they've moved steadily backward. Derrick, as anyone who has met him or watched him work and play, knows that he believes no matter who he is given, he can find a way to win. It's a mental toughness his three brothers, Reggie included, instilled in him. He has never, ever, expressed any doubt in his teammates or the franchise, even though he's had plenty of reason to do so at various times. But those around Derrick, I sense, are becoming annoyed by the subtle but constant drumbeat that because he's practicing hard and looking good that it's a matter of when, not if, that he's coming back this season. Having a player of Rose's caliber, a player who plays as hard as he does for a coach who pushes as hard as Thibodeau does, for a team not built to compete for a title, is ridiculously shortsighted. Anyone who cares about seeing Rose realize the potential he flashed his first four seasons shouldn't want him to try to return to play a dozen regular-season games and then jump into the torture chamber of the postseason. Those who care about him should include the Bulls and, while I understand it benefits them to keep the innuendo that Rose's return is imminent, they would do Derrick a service by saying they don't expect him back this season. That way, if he does return -- which remains a possibility -- it is viewed as a surprise and a testament to Rose. Instead, the situation has been allowed to spiral, mostly through silence, to where Rose could be perceived as leaving the team in the lurch if he doesn't return at some point this season. What has he done over those first four years that would merit questioning his dedication or commitment? What has he done during his rehab that would suggest, for a second, that he's not doing everything in his power to be even better than he was when he got hurt? Nothing. A player comes along who is as purely about winning and committing himself to excellence as Rose is and somehow his integrity is questioned? It didn't have to be this way. I don't believe the Bulls purposely rolled the story in this direction, but I do think it's fair to say they didn't prevent it. For who Derrick is and has been for them, he deserves better.