Maybe the delivery of the news doesn't have to be so convoluted and annoying, but the ultimate decision for Derrick Rose to miss games like last night's is fine by me.
If there is a problem, it's that he's getting nicked up already. But turning an ankle after landing on a defender, and then the other due to possible overcompensation, isn't uniquely identifiable as something that makes Rose 'brittle'.
If he comes back and keeps injuring himself, well: that's a problem. But an attitude like this is not:
Rose played through nagging injuries throughout his first few seasons in the league. A couple sprained ankles likely wouldn't have kept Rose out of a game six years ago because Rose always wanted to play. He always wanted to be on the floor. But after seeing his basketball mortality flash before his eyes over the past two seasons, Rose's tone off the floor has changed. He's more cautious in choosing his words, and he doesn't care nearly as much about playing every game like it's his last. He just wants to play, but if he doesn't feel well enough to play, he's not going to step foot on the floor.
"Just having that burst of speed," he said after Tuesday's shootaround, when asked how he would make that decision. "If I could get to a spot, I could play. If not, there's no need. If I'm not out there and I'm not 100 percent, or if I can't play the way that I normally play, there's no point in me being out there right now."
...the Bulls front office and medical staff have essentially told Rose the same thing. They want him to pace himself for the long haul this season. They want him to listen to his body and sit if he is feeling discomfort.
The '100%' bit does harken back to Rose's non-return from ACL surgery in Spring 2013, which was a mistake as it was a required part of knee surgery recovery to work your way back through incremental progress.
But that's not the same thing as toughing out ankle sprains in November, which is a reminder more of the ill-fated lockout season when Rose was in and out of the lineup with a consistent string of minor injuries culminating (though not causing! NEVER SAY THAT YOU CAN'T PROVE IT) in the ACL tear.
Part of sitting out is to save him from his coach, who though seemingly has a bit more perspective on occasion is still doing stuff like playing Pau Gasol 41 minutes and not thinking twice about it. To Thibs, and correctly given that he's the head coach, there is definitely a 'point' to playing these games. But it's less so for Rose, and it's good that the Bulls seem to be able to handle both philosophies concurrently in these decisions.
Rose may be brittle, which would be a definite problem. But don't worry about him being weak-minded, he's just doing what a lot of us had hoped to see: look towards the postseason first and foremost.