Feb 13, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT
Remember when so many people question Derrick Rose’s desire as he sat out all of last season?
Thankfully, those critics have mostly faded away this season. (Though it’s a darn shame we have another lost Rose season to compare to the first one)
This time, Rose has set the tone of his comeback, and “You can be a fool if you want to” said it all. But just in case you’re still on the fence, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau backs his star player’s resolve in the most direct terms.
Thibodeau, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
“I think one of his great strengths is his attitude,” he said. “In the end, this is going to make him even stronger mentally. And that’s probably the biggest thing. I saw the way he responded with the ACL. He has an even greater determination now. And I think that’s going to serve him well.”
I have little doubt Rose will be extremely driven not only to return, but once he has returned, to excel on the court. He admitted seeing the Heat win the 2012 championship motivated him, and he sat idly as Miami won again last year. Again, he’ll be out of the picture during the NBA Finals this season.
That should make Rose even hungrier.
The only question is how physically capable Rose will be next season. He struggled this season, and though he deserved more time to acclimate, it was at least concerning.
If these injuries have permanently robbed Rose of some of his athleticism, all the motivation in the world might not matter.
Does Rose want to tear through the NBA in 2014-15? Absolutely.
Can he? That’s an entirely differently question.