Culture, Featured, NBA, Sports

The Countdown:: Top 10 Most Interesting NBA Storylines for the 2013-2014 Season: A Recovery By Any Other Name; The Return of Derrick Rose

Welcome back from the weekend! While your (business) week is just getting started, we here at Next Impulse are back to “The Countdown”. Enjoy!

 

Derrick Rose Returns from an ACL injury in 2012

Derrick Rose Returns from an ACL injury in 2012

It’s Monday.

And we get it. The weekend is too short. The capitalist structure that our culture/country has adopted has turned us all into ants marching. Every (business) day, we spend the majority of our time at work when all we really want to do is be with our friends and family and maybe make a difference in this world.[i]

Wow. That escalated quickly.

If only there were some way to cheer me up on Monday, by distracting me from the larger social issues facing our society?[ii]

Nope. Guess not.

In that case, let’s move on with “The Countdown” shall we?

For those of you just joining us, the NBA season is now only SIX (business) DAYS away from starting. We here at Next Impulse are so excited we can’t even stand it. We’ve been counting down the Top 10 Most Interesting NBA Storylines for the 2013-2014 Season. As always #’s 10, 9, 8 and 7 are linked so you can catch up.

#6 A Recovery By Any Other Name; The Return of Derrick Rose

It almost seems impossible to think about just how long Derrick Rose has been out of an NBA lineup. His last logged official NBA minute of action was in May of 2012. That’s almost a year-and-a-half ago.

That’s so much time.

Think back to a year ago in your life. Where were you? What were you doing? Who were the most important people in your life? What were the things that were causing you the most stress? What were you focused on in your career? Your personal life? Your fantasy football team?

Now go back another 5 months from then.

At this point, unless you’re still in an institution that has it’s own structure to organize time[iii], you’re probably struggling to remember any of those things I just asked.

That’s what the passing of time does; it lets you forget.

But if you’re a basketball fan, you probably still can’t forget watching Derrick Rose fall to the floor in a crumpled heap. He tore his ACL in his left knee in a first round playoff game against Philadelphia. It was the first time something major went wrong in Rose’s storybook basketball career.

He was only 23 years old but he had already done so much.

Rose played his high school hoops at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago. At a school known for it’s successful basketball program it was Rose, who was the leader of back-to-back state championship teams, the first ever for any Chicago Public League school.

After high school, he played one season of college ball at Memphis. He led the Tigers within free throws of a National Championship[iv].

Following his brief time in Memphis, Rose was the number one overall pick in the 2008 draft by his hometown Chicago Bulls. The three seasons that followed almost read like a Webster’s Definition of NBA success:

2008-09: NBA Rookie of the Year. Bulls make playoffs. Lose in 7 games to Boston[v].

2009-10: First All-Star appearance (starter). Bulls make playoffs. Lose in 5 games to LeBron[vi].

2010-11: NBA Most Valuable Player. 2nd All-Star appearance (starter). Bulls make Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron takes issues with MVP Award.[vii]

Then in those 2012 playoffs, Rose went down. And thus began the long, dark road to recovery.

At first the reports were that it would take 8 months to a year to fully rehab and recover from the injury. But the Bulls didn’t seem like they were in a hurry to bring back their star player. The word out of Chicago was that the front office wanted Rose to take his time.

The Bulls roster was designed with Rose’s ability to create shots for himself and teammates and there was a suspicion that without him, the Bulls would be in for a long season. And it was. But when Chicago had hired long-time Celtics assistant coach, Tom Thibodeau in 2010, they weren’t getting just another first-time NBA Head Coach.

Thibodeau was credited for being the defensive mastermind behind the Boston Celtics championship (and contending) team(s) as an assistant. And with his first Head Coaching job he actually seemed better designed as an NFL coach or General Manager. His no-nonsense style and all-or-nothing control of his team is more similar to New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick than it is to the Zen-master Phil Jackson who once helped lead Chicago to championships.

So as the 2012-13 NBA season unfolded, Thibodeau seemed to do the unimaginable[viii]. He kept his team together despite injuries to almost every important member of his roster. The Bulls would finish 45-37 for the regular season and earn themselves the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference.

That’s when the questions started coming.

The press (and the fans) wanted to know when D. Rose was coming back. Everyone from the front office, to the coaching staff, to Rose’s brother weighed in on the possibility of when he would return. Everyone but Rose.

The team doctors said he was cleared to play and his team desperately needed him as they fought their way through the Brooklyn Nets and were in the middle of a war with those LeBron led Miami Heat. Rose stayed silent.

He didn’t say he was coming back. But he didn’t say he wasn’t.

It rubbed a lot people the wrong way. Hope is strong thing and when you give people hope and don’t deliver on it, it’s almost worse than having no hope at all[ix]. No one, including Rose, has said why he didn’t just come out and say he was or wasn’t going to play so the Chicago fans were left tilting at windmills. As for the Bulls, they would lose in 5 games to Miami.

Rose didn’t return and he was right to wait until he was comfortable to do so. Not everyone heals the same way and there has yet to be a case of someone giving their body too much time to recover.

The extra time this summer allowed Rose to gain back confidence in his knee and that may be the most important part of his recovery. Rose is a violent, explosive and fearless attacker on the basketball court. He needs to believe that his body will be able to handle his style of play. Hopefully, the extra recovery time has afforded him that.

And that’s where this story finds its own return: time. Derrick Rose hasn’t spent any of it on an NBA court in an official capacity in almost 15 months. He has however, spent a lot of it, in rehab working on his recovery[x].

But for the fans who last remember the rising star slumped on the floor in Chicago, and for Rose himself, the time to recover is over.

The time to return is now.

::::Check back tomorrow for #5::::

Want to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or favorite Buzzfeed lists, hit Scott at [email protected]

Scott Christopher is a comedian and writer based in Los Angeles. Follow him @ScottC47

 


[i] Or you work on Wall Street and I assume you eat babies for breakfast while you demon,devil-dealing boss cuts side deals with the lunch counter to make sure you don’t waste any time standing in line for a sandwich.

Sidebar: people on Wall Street don’t actually DO anything. You, guy who runs a business that provides goods or services, you DO/MAKE/CREATE things. Without you, Wall Street doesn’t exist and a bunch of nerds who are good at numbers would have to learn to do manual labor. Remember that.

[ii] Thanks Buzzfeed! “18 Ways Saved By The Bell Ruined My Life” AND “The 5 Stages of Bungee Jumping Like Beyonce” all on the same day?!?! STFU!!! Not only are these lists of things that can help me avoid doing my work; they’re also lists about imaginary rich kids and what “problems” they had growing up in a beach town in SoCal and documentation of one of the richest women in the world doing an extravagant thing most people will never have the opportunity to do! Where would I be without you?! Oh, maybe paying attention to the troubling state of our economy and awful choices we face as a nation when it comes to our elected officials?…Nah, BORINGGGGG!

[iii] College, High School, Middle School (though if you’re in Middle School, maybe don’t be reading this. Go outside. Run. Play. Do pushups.) or any other institution where the financial and calendar years are thrown out in favor of semesters or “school years”.

[iv] Yes, he missed some of those free throws. But everyone misses free throws. If Rose isn’t on that team there’s no way Memphis is even in the National Championship game. God knows Calapari didn’t get them there on his coaching and Joey Dorsey and Chris Douglas-Roberts should still be sending Rose fruit baskets to thank him for making them relevant in basketball for a brief time. Plus, without those misses, we would’ve never gotten to see Justin Timberlake do this.

[v] Boston would lose in the next round to the eventual Eastern Conference Champions, Orlando Magic. That Boston/Chicago series though was one of the best first round series in NBA history and probably responsible for the Celtics losing to a more well-rested Magic team.

[vi] Should I really say the Cleveland Cavaliers? Their second best player that year was Delonte West. I’m sure you remember how that worked out.

[vii] There are a ton of players who had their careers essentially defined by the fact that they played against Michael Jordan in his prime. The fact is, for a number of players (I see you, KD), this will most likely be the case with LeBron James. When Rose and James faced off in that series, LeBron single-handedly showed the world that he was capable of anything—including taking issue with his award being given to someone else.

[viii] Also filed under unimaginable: Thibodeau used Nate Robinson successfully in the most effective way he’s ever been used.

[ix] Right, 2008-Obama-hype-machine victims? (Note: NIS isn’t a political site and all jokes about things outside of the sports world are mine and mine alone. Consider this one of those long things that people post on Facebook about how no one has the right to use their image or pictures or whatever ridiculous thing they believe. Point is, it’s a joke. I’m a registered Independent and a comedian, so as far as I’m concerned, everyone can get it.)

[x] The early returns look good. Rose appears to be back to his explosive-self in preseason games thus far.

 

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