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Bulls GM denies rift between Derrick Rose and the organization regarding his return

Mar 9, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

76ers Bulls Basketball AP

It’s easy to see how the return of Derrick Rose from a torn ACL injury that has kept him out the entire season to this point has become a stress-filled situation for both sides.

Rose has already earned an MVP trophy in his brief, four-year stint in the league. He’s a top-tier, elite level player when healthy, so the organization obviously wants him back on the court just as soon as he’s physically ready.

The consternation has arisen because a report has surfaced that Rose has been medically cleared to return to action.

Rumors that he’s being pressured to play have surfaced as well, even though Rose has told the team he doesn’t feel ready to take the court just yet.

Add in his brother’s comments from a couple of weeks back, and we have the makings of a full-blown controversy.

The reality, however, is that Rose and the organization are, and have always been on the same page regarding his health. Everyone has said that Rose will come back whenever he’s fully ready to do so, and whenever that is will be just fine.

Bulls GM Gar Forman reiterated that on Saturday, stating for the record that no rift exists between Rose’s camp and the organization regarding his getting back on the court.

From Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman denied Saturday that there is any kind of  communications rift between Derrick Rose’s camp and the organization regarding the return date for the all-star guard from his knee injury.

“We talk all the time. We have been in communication throughout the whole process. High-level communication,” Forman told the Tribune before scouting the DePaul-Pittsburgh game at Allstate Arena.

“From Day One, the communication has been consistent and it has been very encouraging. There have been no setbacks and (Rose) continues to make progress,” he said.

Forman said he would not comment on an ESPNChicago.com report that attributed a source as saying Rose has medical clearance to resume playing after suffering a torn ACL 10 months ago.

“I don’t comment on what a source says,” Forman replied.

The follow-up question to ask, obviously, would have been to say “well, has he in fact been medically cleared to play?” But even then, the response matters little in the grand scheme of things.

Rose is all about basketball, and wants to be out there just as much as anyone else wants him to be. He is a genuine individual who truly seems to value the love of the game over all else, and based on everything we’ve seen and heard from him, he will play again for the Bulls the second he feels he’s able to do so.

As an aside, a popular argument that’s surfaced recently goes something along the lines of, “hey, the Bulls aren’t going to win a championship this year, so Rose should just sit out the season.”

Do you know how stupid that sounds?

I hate to break it to those who agree with that line of thinking, but only three teams have a true shot at a championship this season barring freak injuries — the Heat, the Thunder, and the Spurs. That’s it. So does that mean that any player injured on one of the league’s 27 non-championship contenders should simply sit out the rest of the season, even if they’re physically able to come back and play? Of course not.

The pressure is going to continue to build until Rose does make his eventual return to the court. It’s going to come this season, and will likely be before the playoffs begin. Only then will the rumors and speculation subside, but either way, Rose isn’t going to come back until he’s fully ready, and the Bulls organization isn’t foolish enough to push him to come back any sooner than that.

  1. boyofzimmer - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Gar-Pax need to be fired. Bulls look like clowns and they’ve set the Bulls up to fail in the post season year after year with no plan to improve!

    • cosanostra71 - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      They look to have a fair amount of cap space in the 2014 free agent market. Especially if they trade Boozer.

      • eventhorizon04 - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:54 PM

        Yep. Bulls actually do look like they have a plan to improve – but it’s in the future, not this year.

        They have $73 million in cap commitments for next season (2013-2014), but $15 million comes off the books if they choose to amnesty Boozer.

        In 2014-2015, the only guys under contract are Rose, Gibson, Noah, and (if he’s not Amnestied) Boozer, and both Butler’s and Teague’s contracts are team options at that point (meaning the team can choose not to keep them without any cap penalty).

        So they can be big players this upcoming offseason in free agency, and they can be very significant players free agency in 2015. Plus, they have Charlotte’s first-round draft pick (top-12 protected in 2013, top-10 protected in 2014, top-8 protected in 2015, and unprotected in 2016), in addition to all of their own first round draft picks for the next few years.

      • pudgalvin - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        I still say no way they amnesty boozer. Anyone holding out hope that they do hasn’t been paying attention to the way reinsdorf has done business for the last 25 years.

  2. eventhorizon04 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    So, a few issues…

    “As an aside, a popular argument that’s surfaced recently goes something along the lines of, “hey, the Bulls aren’t going to win a championship this year, so Rose should just sit out the season.””

    No, that’s not the argument that’s surfaced. That’s a strawman.

    Here’s the ACTUAL argument:
    “If Derrick Rose had come back by the All-Star break, he would have had 3 months to get back in shape, deal with any setbacks that might crop up after returning to the rigorous NBA schedule, and become a valuable contributor to the Bulls.

    He wouldn’t be 100%, of course, but he could hope to be around 80-90% of his former self if he had a 3 month build-up to the playoffs that allowed him to regain his confidence in his knee and re-gain his sense of timing and feel for the game. After all, half of his team’s roster has been changed, so he needs time to get used to playing with several new teammates. As a point guard, it’s especially important for him to get to know his teammates’ favorite spots since it’s his job to run the offense and find them there.

    However, the All-Star break was about a month ago, and there are NO indications Derrick Rose is about to start playing in the next few days. Therefore, it’s EXTREMELY likely that Derrick Rose will have less than a month of regular-season basketball to try to get into shape and find his rhythm again. Indeed, if he doesn’t start playing by the end of March, which is in 3 weeks, Rose would only have 2 weeks to get into game-shape before the playoffs start on April 20.

    Therefore, it’d be unfair to Rose to make him play with barely any time to prepare for the playoffs. Given that it took a couple of months for fellow point guard Ricky Rubio to look comfortable on the court after returning from his ACL injury, it’d be more fair to sit Rose than ask him to try to lead his team to a win over physical, tough playoff teams like the Indiana Pacers or the Miami Heat after only 3 weeks of playing time…”

    “I hate to break it to those who agree with that line of thinking, but only three teams have a true shot at a championship this season barring freak injuries — the Heat, the Thunder, and the Spurs. So does that mean that any player injured on one of the league’s 27 non-championship contenders should simply sit out the rest of the season, even if they’re physically able to come back and play? Of course not.”

    First of all, you’re not really qualified to discount the chances of the other 14 teams that will make the playoffs. You have no credibility to rule out teams like the Grizzlies, Clippers, Pacers, Knicks, etc., that have all shown the ability to make life difficult for the OKC Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, and Miami Heat in regular season games. Nice try, random blogger for NBCSports.

    Secondly, Rose isn’t recovering from a minor injury like an ankle sprain that made him miss a couple of games. He’s missed the ENTIRE season so far. So you’re missing the point.

    It’s not that Rose was injured briefly, and thus shouldn’t play because the Bulls don’t look good. It’s that Rose was injured for THE ENTIRE SEASON, likely won’t have ANY time to get into game-shape and get used to playing with new teammates, and thus probably shouldn’t play since there’s a decent chance he’d be a liability on the court given that he’d lack his prior explosiveness, and he’d risk re-injury.

    • saint1997 - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:59 AM

      I agree with most of your stuff here but a couple of comments on my part.

      “thus probably shouldn’t play since there’s a decent chance he’d be a liability on the court given that he’d lack his prior explosiveness”

      Look i agree that he won’t be the same Rose early on. However to discount a focussed superstar going through rigorous rehab, a man who understands the game of basketball very well and is put in a system where he can succeed by his coach, that is just a silly move. He won’t be the same, but he will not be a liability at all.

      “it’d be more fair to sit Rose than ask him to try to lead his team to a win over physical, tough playoff teams like the Indiana Pacers or the Miami Heat after only 3 weeks of playing time…”

      4 words. Good luck convincing Rose. Seriously good luck playing the part of the Bulls GM saying ‘I know you say you’re healthy and ready to get back to the game you love, the game that has taken you from rags to riches and provided you with the means to inspire thousands, but we’re gonna sit you because that knee looks sore.’ I mean there is no way they sit their MVP point guard in a tough series when he is ready enough to begin playing. No way. Other than that good comment

  3. mungman69 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    He will play when he is ready. Maybe next year. They aren’t going to beat Miami this year anyway..

  4. chrismt79 - Mar 10, 2013 at 5:41 AM

    I hate when the media gets crap started for the sake of pushing buttons to get a story. Both sides know ultimately DRose is a long term asset. No way anyone’s going to pressure him and he’s got the wherewithal to know when his body is right. Drop the subject and let the man do his thing.

  5. rawzmyname - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    No reason to come this season, hopefully next season he will have a second star

  6. chrismt79 - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    I hope so. I’m rather surprised Chitown hasn’t lured anyone else in to play with such a high caliber team. Need a solid shooter to fill it up on Rose’s kick outs, and another scorer that can create their own shots when he isn’t in the floor.

  7. fanofevilempire - Mar 10, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    I agree with Rose and what he chooses to do, forget who has a problem with what he does.
    If they want him back immediately take out a guaranteed $200 mil. Ins, Policy premium paid
    in full, if the Bulls can’t do that there is nothing to even speak about. I think Rose should pay
    a visit to the Executive offices and tell shut the freak up.

  8. iowahbr - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    None of us know for sure but after an ijnury like this getting your head ready can be as tough as getting your knee back in shape. Even with Rose at his best the current team is no match for the elite teams in the NBA so the real issue ie what they are doing for 2013-14 to give him some help whne he is ready to play. Bulls fan have their fingers crossed but don’t want to push it.

  9. dadawg77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    The Bulls are pushing Rose to come back. It has nothing to do with winning games now but playing is major part of the rehab process which they wasn’t Rose to start. The leak to ESPN came from GarPax.

  10. jhuck92 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Brett, why are you and Kurt so adamant about Rose’s possible return this season? What makes you so sure he’ll be back?

    -a curious Bulls fan

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:55 PM

      I would not say we are sure. Nobody is sure, not even Rose. I will say on my part the sources I have said they expect a return.

  11. losanginsight - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    AP came back in few months and carried the rock fine in the NFL. This guy is a baby. D12 had back surgery and played since the season tipped off. D Rose is scared and going to play scared for the rest of his carrer. Who cares if no EC team thinks they beat the heatles, atleast they should try.

    • pudgalvin - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      By a few months, you mean 9 right? Because ad had nine months between his injury and playing, which is shaping up to be about three weeks difference between his and roses injury.

  12. AceDawg11 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    The question remains what is worse…letting Rose come back when HE is ready or rushing him back only to have even more setbacks and further the injury? And please stop comparing everyone’s torn ACL to AP. AP is a freak of nature that many people cannot compare to. This was the same person that tried to begin training the DAY of his surgery….

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