Shaw Media’s Jon Styf and APSE award-winning (that’s new as of Tuesday afternoon) columnist Tom Musick talk about Derrick Rose and his return.
Styf: It’s your editor calling, Tom. I want to know where you’ve been. Twitter says Derrick Rose has spoken his peace on his injury. He’s in a land far, far away with no return in sight. He’s no Adrian Peterson, you see. He needs to protect his future. And you need to protect yours. So why didn’t he talk to you?
Musick: Because I wear New Balance shoes. Duh. Seriously, Rose is one of the most polite superstars I have encountered, but his accessibility has changed 180 degrees in the past couple of years. He used to sit at his locker before games and answer questions from idiots like me. Now, he has a team of advisers/handlers/managers/whatever who keep an extra-tight lid on his availability. Sure, the Bulls pay him $95 million, but adidas pays him twice that. Now, when he talks, it’s part of an adidas ad campaign, or it’s an interview with a national newspaper that mentions his adidas connection. As athletes always say: This is a business.
Styf: So, more importantly, it sounds like he’s hinting at not coming back this year. We’re talking about a 30-21 team here in a wide-open conference outside of the Heat. Is he really going to put himself ahead of the Bulls here? I can’t imagine the team is happy that the shoe company appears to be running things here. Jerry Reinsdorf has to be mad.
Musick: What kind of shoes do you suppose Jerry Reinsdorf wears? He probably could get Air Jordans for free. Or maybe he keeps it old school and wears Converse All-Stars. It’s something to investigate. Anyway, I read Rose’s comments to USA Today, and I wouldn’t rush to judgment on anything. He left all of his options open in regard to his return: “It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It’s just that I’m not coming back until I’m ready.”
Styf: So there’s really no story here and nothing new? Because the far away comments make me feel like there is, but the rest makes me feel like there isn’t. Maybe it’s my recent lack of sleep (three kids younger than the age of 4 will do that) but I’m just confused now. I’m going back to sleep until Rose comes back.
Musick: I think it’s a story, but it’s in the category of “To Be Continued” rather than “The End.” When he says he needs to be 110 percent healthy (is that mathematically possible?), and right now he’s in the “high 80s,” that tells me he probably is a few weeks away instead of a few days away. The Bulls have waited this long for Rose to recover. It’s OK to wait awhile longer. Don’t you agree? Uh, Jon? Wait a second. Are you snoring?