Recently, especially here in Chicago, there seems to be this growing sentiment about the role professional athletes must play when it comes to loyalty. And it's a narrow definition: Loyalty to the teams they play for; loyalty to the teams that pay them.
Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng is at the center of a sentiment that extends far beyond his particular dilemma.
See, Deng is hurt. He has a wrist injury that needs rest, followed possibly by surgery. If done now, that surgery would have time to heal and make him available for the beginning of the 2012-13 NBA season, a season that his team will begin without Derrick Rose, the 2011 MVP and the franchise's savior.
If the Bulls are to remain an elite team in the NBA, as they have been the past two seasons (finishing with the league's best record), they'll need Deng to do next season what he did this past season: save them until Rose returns.
According to many, Deng owes the Bulls that.