Late in the Bulls' win over the Cavaliers tonight, Derrick Rose went from his all-angles self to a version with an unsettling lack of verticality. Turns out the Chicago point guard, who spent all last year and much of the previous season mending a knee injury, merely tweaked his hamstring or something; coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game it was minor, and that doctors will poke at Rose on the morrow. Who knows till then.
Chicago fans, though, instantly diagnosed Rose's injury as the end of the frickin' world. Also, the shitbirds threw a party and invited themselves in droves.
Hashtag Injuryprone! The human body is a strange machine, generally able to withstand all manner of contortions and contusions, but given sometimes to breakage. And injuries can cascade. The bum ankle throws the hip out of alignment; the tender rib forces the shoulder to compensate for missing power. Getting hurt means healing, which requires patience and inactivity. Fans hate looking at a player sitting quietly. So they tag him as as injury-prone, as if, at some level, he's hoping he'll get hurt and stay hurt. That he nurses a coward's heart.
In Rose's case, though, it seems absurd to argue he's not throwing his entire being into whatever's happening on the floor. He hoops like he's trapped in a 48-minute game of Russian roulette, with each possession a tug on the trigger. If Rose is truly "injury prone," whatever that really means, it seems less because he's a malingerer, and more because he plays with the safety off.
Photo credit of Rose tonight: AP