Oct 17, 2013, 4:01 PM EDT
There were a lot of disappointed (and pissed off, frankly) Bulls fans last year that Derrick Rose didn’t return from an ACL surgery to lead the Bulls into the playoffs. He said he didn’t feel right and wasn’t ready (and for anyone to question that from the sidelines is ridiculous, but that’s another discussion).
Rose’s high school coach Robert Smith (of Simeon in Chicago) spoke with the USA Today about Rose and had an interesting insight on his choice on when to return.
The conversation had turned to what a lot of people have noticed — Rose looks better this year, at least so far in the preseason. The question was asked “why?”
Because he took his time and he doesn’t like to disappoint people. I think that was the main reason why he didn’t come back early. He just doesn’t like to disappoint anyone. That drives him. His competitive nature would never let him not come back as good or better than he was before. When he opted to stay out I said to myself, “When he gets back it’s gonna be rough on some people.”
We all saw Ricky Rubio come back on schedule and struggle for months to find his game and confidence again. By the end of the season it was close, but it’s really this season that he is all the way back. Every surgery is different, but Rose didn’t want to be that guy. He didn’t want to return until he was better than people remembered.
By the way, one other insight Smith passed on about Rose.
Probably that he’s really superstitious. His routine is always the same, he doesn’t change anything. Just things like always being the last one to come out of the locker room and always being the last one to come to the huddle. Different things like that. But he’s serious about that stuff.