Following Derrick Rose's interview with USA Today, the reaction was naturally a bit all over the place. There were those who thought it was just more of the typical cliches we've come to expect when the injury has been discussed. Others looked at the possibility that Rose could miss the season, which the star point guard hinted was still an option. And then there were the people looking for conspiracy with the media, Rose's handlers, Adidas, whatever. Dogs and cats, living together....MASS HYSTERIA!
However, things began to take an even stranger turn today. First, there was the revelation from John Paxson before the Celtics game that Rose had in fact not participated in any type of 5-on-5 scrimmages. Paxson went on to say that Rose would begin scrimmaging after the All-Star break and would see how his body responded. Not the biggest deal, but I was under the assumption that Rose was taking part in full scrimmages. Perhaps that was a mistake.
But then Rose did open up to the beat guys after the loss to the Celtics. And while much of what he said was similar to what he said in the USA Today interview, there were a few quotes that were noteworthy (from Aggrey's transcript):
"I really don't know," Rose said when asked about his return to the court. "I'm feeling good, but like I said, if it's where it's taking a long time and I'm still not feeling right, I don't mind missing this year."
Nothing that new here. Rose hinted at the possibility of sitting out the season in the USA Today interview. But then we have this:
"It's both [mental and physical] still. My leg still isn't feeling right. Mentally, I think I'm fine. Every week, just try to do something different. Every day, stay on my rehab, do a little bit more, lift a little bit more, squat a little bit more and taking it very serious.
"I would love to [play this season]. That's why I approach my rehab and workouts so hard. I'm trying to get back on the court as quickly as possible, but if I have anything lingering on, it's no point."
"Being able to dunk. I can't dunk. I know that if I can dunk off stride, I know I'll be out there playing, but I can't."
Rose also admitted that he hasn't taken any contact to his injured knee yet. Much of this info doesn't exactly jibe with what we had been hearing about his rehab, and also contradicts some of what he said in the USA Today interview, specifically about him having all his explosiveness back. Also, there was this article in the Chicago Sun Times from January with quotes from Jimmy Butler saying he saw Rose "flush" a few here and there. And I know I saw other reports about Derrick dunking. The fact that Rose isn't necessarily taking "full contact" goes against what I had been led to believe as well.
This could all very well be nothing and just more Rose speak. And I personally still think he WILL be back at some point this season. But I would be lying if I said there wasn't some doubt creeping him about whether he'll play or not. And although I ultimately would be fine if he felt he needed to sit out, it would be very disappointing because I've been operating under the assumption that he would indeed be back this year.