With Derrick Rose in Oakland over the weekend to see the Bulls big win over the Warriors*, some national writers based there got a word in with him.
"I'm feeling healthy, man. That's the only thing that matters."
That's right, he pulled an 'All that matters, yo' on us.
So is he coming back then? There's been no clear indication. Spears reports of no target date, though a source added that Rose's rehab is "at the end of the tunnel". But we kind of knew that already, since the end of rehab is playing in games. Though Rose doesn't want to play in games until he's done with his rehab. It's the 'ol chicken and the basketball problem. So does that make Rose chicken? Was I possessed by Sam Smith for those last few lines?
No-longer-national writer (but with the hair of someone who can pretend to be) Ric Bucher also was with Rose over the weekend (via Dils in the fanshots), and he said Rose was 'non-committal' to a return this season.
It should be noted that both Bucher and Spears added two stories to the matter:
- The Bulls aren't pressuring Rose to return (good news, that)
- Maybe...he'll be better than ever?!?!??!
Unencumbered by the knee, a better shot, and Bucher even says Rose looks taller. Seriously, that was in his report.
We have seen the notion that some of Rose's skills may in fact be honed during his long absence, but let's hope the hype of Rose2.0 isn't the new #TheReturn. If we're now talking about Rose being BETTER than before, that only would mean more that he's not coming back this season.
To the opposite end, earlier in the weekend there was rumor of a Rose return tonight, which started when Mike McGraw noted the curious change of the Bulls game to the more higher-profile CSN channel over the hockey team. Nothing further was ever added, though, and the mention of the network itself indicating anything was shot-down by 'two Bulls sources' to the Sun-Times's Joe Cowley.
Not that I know, either, but it seems like Rose's return won't be secret for long if and when it does happen. Listening to Rose himself though, it still sounds unlikely he's coming back this season, but we can't be surprised either way anymore.
*That was a fun one, eh? Especially at the Bulls Show watch party. It also kind of blew my 'is this season toast??' notion from the Kings game out of the water, though it'd be pretty silly to declare a revival after one game (it's the NBA...weird results happen both ways) so I still think at this point (i.e., nearly two bad months) they're too beaten-down (even Thibs is having a smidge of a crisis) to do anything this year. A few more wins and injury returns will of course make me change my mind. Luckily for y'all, I don't have the pride required to stick stubbornly with predictions.