“I don’t care if it’s my mom on the court, she’s going to get killed.”
—Derrick Rose talking about his level of motivation on the court, via Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com.
Two years ago, nobody questioned Rose’s work ethic, commitment to the game or to the Bulls. He was one of the NBA’s new generation of model citizens.
Then after his knee injury, he decided he couldn’t come back until he felt right — something that is completely within his rights. He knows what his knee feels like, not fans or sports talk radio hosts. Only Rose gets to make the call on when he could return to the court. But he turned it into a PR mess by having a series of commercials about his efforts that led nowhere, then never closing the door on his return — even during the playoffs when it was obvious he wouldn’t come back he would work out before games then not play, at the same time his teammates were trying to play through their own injuries. Rose might not care, but he came off looking bad.
Now he’s back and out to re-establish his credentials as a hard worker dedicated to the game — hence the “Basketball is Everything” ad. The only real way to do that is to just get out on the court and ball like his old self. Do that and the city of Chicago and the legions of Bulls fans will fall right in line again.