Lasting Pain?

Will Derrick Rose's reputation be damaged if he does not play this season?

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(Total votes: 9,488)

YES
NO

Rose struggling with mental hurdle

By John Jurkovic
ESPNChicago.com
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Derrick Rose as a player, as an athlete, is not taking a hit. But his intestinal fortitude, his willingness to play with a little bit of discomfort -- and it's something he's been willing to do in the past -- has to be called into question. He's now facing a mental hurdle. And he's not able to do it.

You are responsible for when you believe you can or cannot be out on the court. The individual, the athlete, is responsible for that. And he's getting too much input and too much feedback from different parties with different interests, all telling him that they've got his best interest in mind.

They might have his best interests financially, but they don't for him as an athlete. And at the end of the day he's the guy who ends up on the court. He's the guy who ends up playing. That's where he's taking a hit. It's like, 'What's wrong with him? Why doesn't he have the stomach to get this done? Why doesn't he have the intestinal fortitude to get this done? What happened?'

That's the question mark.

Rehabbing his image won't be difficult at all if he comes back out on the court and performs the way he did before. And I believe he'll be able to perform that way again.

People have recovered from ACL injuries. This is not some sort of miracle surgery that only 1 out of 50 people recover from. If anything, 1 in 1,000 don't recover from it.

And why you have to wait an inordinate amount of time to get back on the court is another big question mark about him.

John Jurkovic is the co-host of "Carmen & Jurko" on ESPN Chicago 1000.

Rose will make doubters forget

Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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Derrick Rose used to be completely beloved. The city of Chicago treated him like a member of its own family.

They loved him when he put the Bulls on his shoulders and helped carry them the last few years. They cheered for him when he talked about the responsibility he felt to bring another championship to his hometown. They cried when he got hurt and empathized with him as he began his grueling rehab from a torn ACL.

But in the span of a few short months much of that support has disappeared, or at the very least, severely questioned. Fans are upset that Rose hasn't returned after being medically cleared for over two months. Some say they'll never look at him the same way again.

Yeah, right.

The fans saying that will be the same ones screaming for him the second he starts dropping 20 points a game again and making highlight-reel plays. Rose's decision not to return to the floor for the final few weeks of this season will be a blip on the radar in his career.

He'll return when he's ready and will use all the second-guessing as motivation. The former MVP is very aware of his surroundings and knows that people are starting to doubt him and his commitment to the Bulls. It's only going to fuel him even harder to be better than he was before he got hurt.

When his mind and his body get back on the same page there's no reason to believe he won't be the same player again given his work ethic and talent. He still has the transcendent talent. He still gives the Bulls their best hope to win a title since Michael Jordan left. In that regard, nothing has changed.

Since we live in a 'What-have-you-done-for-me-lately?' society, it's almost like people have to be reminded how good he was before the knee injury. So do yourself a favor if you're one of the fans who believes that Rose's choice not to be back on the floor because he's not mentally ready is going to haunt him for a long time. Get on the computer and watch old highlights of the MVP. Now take a deep breath. He's going to be back soon and doing a lot of those same things in due time.

It's just taking a little longer than all of us expected.

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPN Chicago.