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Derrick Rose out for Game 1 but for reasons unknown keeps door open to return this series

May 6, 2013, 2:49 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose takes a break on the bench during the warm up before the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Chicago Reuters

Do you really think, after more than a year off from competitive basketball to heal his torn ACL, Derrick Rose is going to return against the defending champion Miami Heat so LeBron James can guard him?

No. Nobody does.

But for reasons nobody can explain he will not shut the door on the possibility of a comeback this season. And while Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls players have had Rose’s back and support him, they also are really sick of answering the same question every day because Rose just can’t say no. When we all know the answer is no.

Here are Rose’s exact words, via

Rose said Monday that his status is “still up in the air. I might have a chance,” although coach Tom Thibodeau ruled him out for Game 1….

Asked if he owes it to his teammates to be on the court, Rose said Monday: “Everybody has their own opinion. The key words that he said is, ‘if I’m ready.’ Right now, I’m not ready so I’m just trying to take my time and just really, really be smart.”

Being smart would have been to say with 10 games left in the season he was not coming back this year. I will continue to defend his right and his decision to return when he feels ready — only he gets to make that call. But he should have killed the speculation long ago. To leave this hanging out there while Joakim Noah is playing on one leg, while Kirk Hinrich is trying to get back from a calf injury, when Luol Deng is trying to get back following complications from a spinal tap, while Nate Robinson is playing through the flu, it all just makes Rose look bad. And Bulls fans are killing him for it.

By the way, Deng is out for Game 1, and while Hinrich is officially a game-time decision he is not expected to go. That’s the real Bulls injury story; the Rose thing is just a ridiculous soap opera now.

  1. fanofevilempire - May 6, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    this is so exciting, I can’t wait for the reports tomorrow morning!

  2. erckle31 - May 6, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    I really hope he comes back…these playoffs need a little more excitement. With how cheap the Bulls front office is, this team will probably look relatively the same next year.

    • philtration - May 6, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      The Bulls front office is cheap?

      Look up the saleries of Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah

      • erckle31 - May 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        They’ve never gone into the luxury until this year, to answer your question, yes they are thrifty. I’m not saying it doesn’t work…but when you have an MVP like Rose, you do whatever you can to put pieces around him to win.

      • eventhorizon04 - May 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        It’s actually interesting.

        The Bulls have the reputation of being cheap since their owner has made it clear he’d like to avoid paying the luxury tax at all. However, if you look at the actual payrolls:

        1. LA Lakers $100,131,988
        2. Brooklyn $87,627,934
        3. Orlando $87,365,418 (including Gilbert Arenas’ $20+ million)
        4. Miami $83,777,933
        5. Philadelphia $81,901,193
        6. New York $79,977,119
        7. Portland $75,802,401
        8. Boston $75,491,684
        9. Chicago $74,835,647
        10. LA Clippers $73,092,721
        11. San Antonio $70,182,007
        12. Golden State $70,100,825
        13. Dallas $69,766,571
        14. Minnesota $69,557,748
        15. Cleveland $69,322,190
        16. Oklahoma City $68,924,100

        While the Bulls are definitely spending less than other big-market teams (particularly the Nets and Lakers), they’re only a few million less than team like the NY Knicks and Miami Heat.

      • erckle31 - May 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        That’s actually pretty interesting, I really didn’t know the payrolls were that close. But I think it’s more about the mentality of not wanting to go over the cap (and paying the tax) than just simply not spending much. They’re hesitant to pay the dough to bring in another star to pair with Rose, whereas teams like New York aren’t afraid to go over the cap if it means that they can bring in another good player.

        By the way, holy sh*t. That Laker payroll is absolutely ridiculous.

      • Kurt Helin - May 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM

        The Bulls clear off a lot of cap space in a couple years and could restructure the roster then with another star.

  3. iowahbr - May 6, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Now more “I might play after game 1″ noise. D. Rose just let it be and watch from the bench. It is your knee that was injured but right at the moment it’s your mouth that needs medical assistance. About 7 stitches would do nicely

  4. parasolmonster - May 6, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    “By the way, Deng is out for Game 1, and while Hinrich is officially a game-time decision he is not expected to go. That’s the real Bulls injury story; the Rose thing is just a ridiculous soap opera now.”

    Then why post this, Kurt? Why post this?

    • Kurt Helin - May 6, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      Says the guy who clicked on the story then commented on it… Why do you think?

  5. basketballhooper1 - May 6, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Honestly, people need to leave it alone already. If he returns, great. If not, let him come back when he feels ready and on his own terms. Only he knows when he is ready. His injury and his return have been made so much worse with the media constantly asking him and his teammates when he’s coming back.

    I want him to return as much as anyone else, just let him do it when he feels ready.

    • cbt22 - May 6, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      People will leave him alone when he stops saying things like there is a chance I might be able to go, but I don’t know its up in the air. Clearly he is not ready to play in his mind but if you don’t come out and say hey I am out for the playoffs people are going to continue to ask. Also he could just come out and say I am out unless something major happens so stop asking. But no he says his status is still in the air. Of course people are going to bother him because he left a small possibility he can still come back.

      • eventhorizon04 - May 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM


        I think the frustration from fans comes from the fact that it’s obvious that if Rose didn’t feel comfortable playing in the final few regular season games against tanking lottery teams or against the Brooklyn Nets, he’s very unlikely to SUDDENLY feel comfortable jumping into the middle of a VERY physical Bulls-Heat series. .

        People understand that it takes awhile to shake off rust (look up the stats of John Wall, Ricky Rubio, and Iman Shumpert the first 2 weeks after returning to play after knee injuries), so by not playing at all in the regular season, Rose in effect ruled himself out for the playoffs since he’s unlikely to play well with no preparation games. However, it’s a distraction so long as he refuses to shut himself down for the playoffs.

    • chicitybulls - May 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Totally agree with you basketballhooper. He’s already said he’ll be back when he’s ready. THAT’S THE ANSWER. For media to continue to ask him when he’s coming back is just dumb and makes it seem like they can’t comprehend english. It’s not up to him to say “I’m out for the playoffs” because if he feels he’s ready to go at some point in the playoffs and doesn’t because he said he’s out that’s akin to quitting. Right now he’s not ready so he’s not playing. For media to keep on asking is…well…dumb. And no real Bulls fan question him. Only the ones that show up when the team is playing well. No basketball fan with knowledge of players that came back too early (Arenas, McGrady, etc) and had their career cut short by that question him. The fact that there’s 2-3 stories on this is media playing their little game and trying to make him out to be Andrew Bynum or something close to it. I’m confident he’s not listening to them and doing what’s right long term and ignoring all of these dumb ploys.

      • basketballhooper1 - May 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

        Exactly man (chicitybulls), its just pointless to keep asking him. If there is any change in his condition, he would let us know, instead of media asking every second. And hopefully you’re right, about him not listening to the media and doing what’s right long term.

  6. kingcrusher - May 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    He needs to not push it. Just let the team do the best they can and return next year and give us an exciting season. I’d hate to see him come for a game or two only to see him hurt himself. Be 100% first, please!

  7. cbking05 - May 6, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    FAVRE 2.0

    • bougin89 - May 7, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      I see what you did there, calling Favre and Rose drama queens. But can you really compare Brett Favre(the ultimate ironman) to Rose?

  8. bengalsredgreenshow - May 6, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    @ crusher.. He isn’t at risk of reinjury. Why people keep adding “if he has a chance of reinjury” is what I don’t get. His chances of injury now are the same as when he was never injured. If his mind can’t get behind not coming back, then he should retire, because he can ALWAYS GET HURT. that’s like not walking around town because a piano may fall on your head.

  9. philtration - May 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Why say “For reasons unknown”?
    The reason is that he blew out his knee, had major surgery and was not expected to play at all this year.

    • southbeachtalent - May 6, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      Medically cleared to play. He is, in fact, sitting for reasons unknown.

      I don’t understand why he hasn’t played but I understand that I do not know the whole story. Really, only Rose and coach know why he hasn’t played. But it sure seems as if it’s a psychological matter.

      And the worst contract in sports history goes to………………Adidas!!

      • philtration - May 6, 2013 at 10:23 PM

        Glad the Bulls were focusing on basketball tonight instead of modeling their new shoes….

  10. timb12 - May 6, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    It’s strategy! Now the Heat have to prepare for Rose in case he comes back! Sneaky Thibs…. 😉

  11. adoombray - May 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    He keeps the door open so the Bulls stay talked about, he keeps the door open so irrational basketball fans can keep hoping he comes back (I’m keeping the faith too, I don’t judge) because it would be good for basketball. Most importantly, he keeps the door open so guys like you have something to write about it. Don’t feign ignorance or disgust at the move, it generates traffic, and that’s fine, we all gotta get paid and i’m happy to give you the traffic to help you get paid, but don’t insult our intelligence like pretending it’s a bad thing for anyone

  12. mazblast - May 6, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I can’t figure out whether he’s jerking the media around or working with them to stir the pot.

  13. losanginsight - May 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    It has already been a year since he tore it.
    AP came back and ran for ovet 2,000 yards in Football. RG 3 will be starting opening day. It will never be 100%. How will he know it isn’t ready until he plays?
    Needs to play for WNBA.

    • philtration - May 6, 2013 at 10:09 PM

      Did Blake Griffin not miss his entire rookie season because of his injury?

  14. supremekingz - May 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Been a loyal Bulls fan my whole life but I can no longer claim D-Rose as my favorite player. (And I already know he couldn’t care less). It’s just a shame that he gets paid to play basketball, but he won’t play basketball.

    Please tell me any other profession where this is perfectly acceptable. I’d love to tell me boss, “hey, I know my doctors note expired and I’m cleared to return, but I’ll be back when I’m mentally ready. In the meanwhile, I’ll show up to work everyday and just sit at my desk and Facebook. Oh yeah, I’m not ruling out a return to work sometime in the by and by.”

    Jeez it’s frustrating. Can you imagine if it was Kobe, or Iverson? They’d be balling out. But D-Rose? No way.

    I better not ever see one of those Adidas commercials again

  15. caeser12 - May 6, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    “Leave the kid alone.”

    My Bodyguard. 1980

  16. melkipershero - May 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Im starting to question what D Rose is made of. He really has no need to play another game if he doesn’t want to. He signed a $100 million+ NBA contract and a monster Adidas contract worth atleast that much. He wouldn’t be the first person to pack it in after getting his contract. I’m 100% wrong in this (I hope), but it is a question I’ve thought of more than once.

    • bougin89 - May 7, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      Contracts are guaranteed but the player still has to fullfill that contract. If he were to walk away right now he would not see the rest of his salary. Would there be lawsuits involved? Absolutely, but the Bulls would win. Think Ricky Williams coming back when the Dolphins took him to court over the (guaranteed) signing bonus they gave him only a year before. He ended up coming back and not because he exactly wanted to but because he couldn’t/didn’t want to pay the dolphins back.

      Maybe I’m misinterpreting your comment but Rose can’t actually walk away(retire) from the game and still collect his salary.

  17. haterhurter937 - May 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    a fart i let thats “still up in the air” has a better chance of playing than rose. just say your not playing you medically cleared mental midget.

  18. jimeejohnson - May 6, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Hate squad has penetrated this blog. Just sayin’.

  19. noah81398 - May 6, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    This is why AP is the worst thing to happen to athletes with a torn ACL. Everyone gets this totally ignorant idea that a player can come back from this injury and have an absolutely monster season. In reality, this doesn’t happen and will not happen too often. Granted, D-Rose has been cleared since march, and yes, David Lee did make him look like a wuss coming back from a torn right hip flexor (a good 6-8 week injury) in just 15 days, but still. Derrick Rose is still the best source of information on how Derrick Rose feels. He’s the future of the Bulls and they definetly should not pressure him.

  20. gmsingh - May 6, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Hey Kurt–shouldn’t we worry about the Heat winning a game first before we whine about D. Rose?

    • Kurt Helin - May 6, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      Notice this was written before the game. I’m sorry, that would require reading comprehension from you, my bad.

      • gmsingh - May 7, 2013 at 7:33 AM

        Ouch. This wasn’t a slam on you as much as it was on every single pundit saying the Bulls didn’t have a chance. So there. Barkley really pissed me off, for example.

  21. deiong - May 6, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    no offense rose, but shut up and sit down. enough already. just take it easy and practice to make next year – your year.. this years theres.. they’ve earned it..

  22. nodindenver - May 6, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Bout time he thinks of coming back; this crew has carried his butt for a while! During all his drama his team mates have become the talk of basketball. Do not know how they do it other than sure will which is something he lacks.

  23. spideysdog - May 7, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    I’m not a Bulls fan, and haven’t particularly cared bout the NBA since my Sonics left, but this story is ridiculous.

    Can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I agree with Kurt. the Bulls are not doing him any favors by leaving the door open. Nor is he helping himself. If he is incapable of ruling himself out, the Bulls could save him a ton of backlash, if they chose to rule him out and end the drama.

    On the flip side, nothing in life is guaranteed. I find myself asking myself one question….. If this was Kobe, Michael, or LeBron, is there any question at all what they would be doing?

    makes you wonder…..

  24. chrismt79 - May 7, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Come on, is it really that difficult to see why he’s leaving the door open? You never cut off the opportunity to keep any sort of (if even slight) mental chess piece on the board. Even if the opposing team isn’t actively creating defensive strategies for Rose, if his name is even in the conversation that is time taken from the Heat (or others) focusing on other aspects of game preparation. It’s not as if you’re talking about Malcolm Thomas as a maybe, it’s the league former MVP. Not exactly rocket science.

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