Sure, Derrick Rose missed the whole season, a fairly-unprecedented move for someone with his injury. And maybe all the leaks and spin and arguing about it had gotten you down, but hey: it's over, right?
Yes. But now that we can all mercifully move on from the drama that was Rose's non-return during the season, it's time for questions about his summer program!
[I'm genuinely excited, actually]
Bulls VP and current owner of a scary goatee John Paxson was on 670 the Score last weekend, and in a long interview touched on a lot of topics I'll hopefully get to later, but there was interesting talk about about Derrick Rose. And I don't mean Pax's whining about 'unfair shots' and 'the way of the world', but this bit:
Asked whether Rose might participate in pickup games with other NBA players this summer while training in California, Paxson said, "We are in the process of sitting down and meeting with Derrick and his representatives and mapping out his offseason. ... We're going to map it all out and make sure everyone is on the same page.
"Whatever he's going to do in terms of playing, that's to be determined. But the biggest thing is that he feels the knee is strong and safe and all the things that make him comfortable. I think every day that goes by, he feels better about it and that's all we're concerned about."
So there's no plan yet. Paxson mentioned the 8-12 month timeline as well, and even said they were 'within that' which would be fine except they're ::checks calendar:: clearly not.
So mum's the word from the Bulls, and "Team Rose" has gone silent as well. Rose's agent BJ Armstrong was scheduled go on WMVP Thursday afternoon, but the station cancelled after Armstrong let it be known he wouldn't answer Derrick Rose questions (starts at the 55minute mark, hat-tip to Jay Patt on this). Hosts Waddle and Silvy disclosed (and I've read something like this before, but I don't listen to them regularly) that they had their own sources saying that Armstrong has been telling others since late January that Rose would sit out the season.
I don't expect that BJ would admit to such malfeasance let alone apologize for it, and no: we're not owed it (though it'd be nice). And similarly we don't need to know Rose's rehab timetable. But I am curious. Is Rose's next regulated action really not going to come until October 12th in Brazil?
I'm sure whatever they can cobble together in L.A. can be a reasonable facsimile to NBA action, but I could see the benefit in something more sanctioned as we head into the summer. There's the Vegas Summer League, which the Bulls will be participating in starting July 12th. Rose's brother-in-ACL-tear-date Iman Shumpert may be going there. There's also the Team USA mini-camp on July 22nd (also in Vegas), where Taj Gibson will be participating.
We'll see how (and when) the team and 'Team Rose' map things out for the summer...or maybe we'll never know. Maybe they determine that semi-regulation affairs like the ones put on in Vegas in July are potentially too volatile for Rose, but you'd think with July meaning 14 months post-surgery he would be ready to take that step in rehab.
Selfishly, if staying with pickup games is the course of action, I really do not look forward to the summer. It'll mean more clandestine reports about how much Rose is 'dominating' and 'better than ever'. Paxson himself even fanned those flames a bit, talking about the improvements in Rose's body through rehab benefiting him for the rest of his career. That's great, but I hope that they don't see that Vegas is the better place to take the next step of rehab, and then for non-rehabilitation reasons they decide against it.
I guess this is what Paxson (who, remember: hated dealing with the media so much that he tried to quit and got promoted instead) would call a reflection of our unfortunate society, always needing to 'give blame', 'need information now', 'maybe how about don't lie to me for months on end', etc.. but I will be skeptical of any recovery until I see it. If the Bulls feel that's unfair, and even if Rose feels that way so much that it motivates him to prove the doubters (and haters!) wrong, that's fantastic. I will doubt you now and then cheer for you when you're playing again, even more if you're better than ever, and you won't know the difference muahahahaha.