‘I had to be selfish,’ Bulls’ Derrick Rose says in video
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org July 3, 2013 9:14PM
Bulls center Nazr Mohammed puts his warmups on as he sits between injured Bulls Kirk Hinrich and Derrick Rose in the first half as the Chicago Bulls take on the Brooklyn Nets in game six Thursday May 2, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: August 5, 2013 6:38PM
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau frequently points to Derrick Rose’s high acumen on a basketball court — a rare ability to dissect most defenses thrown his way through the early part of his career. But Rose hasn’t had the same escapability in the court of public opinion.
The 2011 NBA MVP took further steps to try to rectify that Wednesday, speaking in a video posted on the Bulls’ website about the knee rehabilitation that sidelined him the entire 2012-13 season.
Specifically, Rose addressed the idea that he should have tried to play once doctors cleared him in early March, nearly 10 months after surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
‘‘I’m not a selfish guy at all,’’ Rose said in the video on Bulls.com. ‘‘But having this injury and knowing what I had to go through and being smart, this is something I had to be selfish with. I couldn’t worry about anyone else but myself and my health.’’
Rose went onto say his rehab ‘‘was hard, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through in my life. After surgery, when you start running [and] when you have an injury like this, there are stages you have to go through. I’m still going through my stages. I’m not done yet. This is the most I ever worked on my craft and most focused I’ve ever been in my NBA career.’’
Rose didn’t get into the specifics of his stages or pain that has been underplayed throughout the ACL saga. As late as the Bulls’ first-round playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets, Rose admitted feeling ‘‘soreness’’ when he would initially step on the court to warm up.
The final stage, which Rose won’t enter until the fall, involves facing NBA opponents focused on stopping his every move. Until then, no one will have a full grasp of what he’s still capable of doing.
According to one Bulls source, Rose is not scheduled to participate in any formal summer league games or even pick-up games besides playing with teammates or whichever games he wants to jump in during his workouts.
Rose already has said he doesn’t play many pick-up games in the summer and wouldn’t change that just because of the injury.
‘‘Every day I was working out like my leg is going to feel better,’’ he said in the video. ‘‘I was pushing myself every day, eating right, just trying to take care of my body, so I could be out there as soon as possible. It didn’t happen.’’
Throughout the interview, Rose gives no timetable for his return. Nor does he commit to returning next season, although when asked about his goal for 2003-14, he answered, ‘‘There’s only one goal, and that’s to win a championship.’’