April 22, 2013
Derrick Rose has had a difficult last few years by all accounts. First he tore his anterior crucial ligament (the most delicate and important ligament in his leg) and missed all of this 2012-2013 season after missing the playoffs of last season with the injury. Then, Rose faced widespread scrutiny when he refused to play with his team prior to the playoffs even though he was cleared to play by team doctors, and was rumored to have dominated team practices during the time period that he refused to step onto the court. That move cost Derrick some support and patience from his fan base. After all, he is the youngest league MVP in National Basketball Association history and one of the most exciting and electrifying players in the league when he is healthy. However, Derrick Rose is now facing one of his most strange and trying tests at the hands of a fan.
Matthew Thompson, a 25 year old from Peoria, Illinois, is suing Derrick Rose for missing the 2012-2013 season because of his ACL injury. Thompson says that Rose failing to play in this past season has caused him emotional distress, weight gain, and mental breakdowns despite the fact that the Bulls still managed to garner the number 5 playoff spot without Rose all year. Thompson blames Rose’s decision not to play basketball this season for his anguish and weight gain, and cited Rose’s “negligent behavior” by refusing to return to the court as the reason that he is suing the basketball player.
What Derrick Rose does with his body, is his business. Matthew Thompson and all of the Chicago Bulls fans in the world would not unite to pay the rest of Rose’s salary if tore his ACL again and lost the ability to play basketball. Rose and the Bulls fans have to look at the big picture. Is this playoff series worth jeopardizing his next 10 years of basketball? Rose’s return to the court does not insure a championship for Chicago. Though he is the best player court on the court in almost any game that he plays, the team has played without him for a solid year and thrived. The Chicago Bulls will have no chemistry in the playoffs this year if he returns, and he is not necessarily the same Derrick Rose that he was prior to the injury. In order to excel in the NBA, you have to be physically and emotionally ready to play. The team doctors have cleared him to play, however, if he is not mentally prepared to play basketball, then his impact on the game could be diminished and the play of the Bulls could suffer.
Matthew Thompson should be ashamed for being so selfish and short-sided in his view of Derrick Rose’s decision. Rose could alter or ruin the rest of his career by playing basketball too soon after his injury. An ACL tear is extremely sensitive to pressure and crucial to an athlete’s movement. Any misstep in rehab could delay Rose’s recovery or destroy his career altogether. And, Thompson or any other Bulls fan should want the franchise to contend for the next ten years with a healthy Derrick Rose rather than risk him on one season.