Hardaway says Derrick Rose should take his time coming back

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Not many people can speak to what Derrick Rose is going through — a hard-luck Chicago kid that grows up to be a young NBA franchise player, his star is on the rise then he suffers a freak, non-contact, major knee injury with a torn ACL.

Tim Hardaway can.

The Chicago native with one of the best crossovers the game has ever seen was a three-time All-Star and a force until a non-contact 1993 ACL tear cost him a season. Hardaway bounced back and was a smarter, more efficient player on his return. But he was never quite the same.

Hardaway told Jared Zwerling writing for ESPNChicago.com that Rose needs to consider sitting out an entire season (hat tip SLAM).

“I’d just rather have him take his time, so he can be 100 percent, because he’s like me, running and jumping,” Hardaway told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday.…

“His jumpshot is going to come back a lot better than what it was,” said Hardaway, who is now a community liaison and scout for the Miami Heat. “I’ll tell you that. His jumpers and his free throw percentage is going to be up. I’m telling you. That’s all you can do. You can’t do anything else, but shoot around and just shoot free throws.”

Rose has advantages that Hardaway did not — less invasive surgical techniques and a better understanding of what makes a good recovery. Back when Hardaway played your leg was immobilized after surgery for an extended time. Now they work to start getting the range of motion back as quickly as they can.

Rose likely will not miss the entire season, but both Rose and the Bulls need to be patient here. Which Rose freely admits is not one of his strengths. But this isn’t about these coming playoffs, it’s about the ones beyond that. With a healthy Rose the Bulls are contenders for a long time. That has to be the foucs, not racing back for a February regular season game (when he still won’t be fully right).

We’ll probably have a lot more of this discussion before Rose’s return sometime after the All-Star game.