Derrick Rose has had an uneven start to the season. He's looked pretty damn good when he's on the court, but he's already missed four games due to a pair of sprained ankles he's been dragging around. On Tuesday, he offered a partial explanation for why he's already missed so many games, and it did not sit well in the more cantankerous corners of the Chicago media.
Here's what Rose had to say on Tuesday:
I feel I've been managing myself pretty good. I know a lot of people get mad when they see me sit out. But I think a lot of people don't understand that when I sit out, it's not because of this year. I'm thinking about long term. I'm thinking about after I'm done with basketball, having graduations to go to, having meetings to go to.
I don't want to be in my meetings all sore or be at my son's graduation all sore just because of something I did in the past. Just learning and being smart.
In spirit, nothing being expressed in that quote is all that controversial. It was perhaps a little clumsy of Rose to include "meetings" as a thing he's trying to keep himself healthy for, but what he's getting at here is a sentiment that has been shared by many athletes before him: "I don't want to be a hobbled old mess when I'm older, and so I am going to be careful about playing hurt and potentially re-injuring myself."
Despite how sane and generally unremarkable Rose's comments were, the Chicago Tribune's Steve Rosenbloom viewed them as cause to dedicate an entire column to calling Rose out for being a sissy and a moron:
I'm loath to tell Rose to shut up because then we'd all be denied new Stupid-O-Meter readings the way we're being denied Rose's participation on the court because of the anticipated Herculean demands of standing for "Pomp and Circumstance'' in about 16 years.
Rose needs a friend. Does Rose have a friend? Rose needs a friend. Because a friend would tell him how dumb he sounds and looks.
That's a pretty spicy take, Steve, but maybe you could use a few more personal attacks on Rose's intelligence?
I don't know if that's his brother or agent putting that garbage in his head, but it's one of the most embarrassing things a player can say.
Thing is, it's not just that the statement is idiotic, it's that he apparently believes it. It's galling and stupid, and Rose doesn't seem smart enough to understand why.
The Bulls are trying to win a title and gave him a $95 million contract toward that end. And they get that horsebleep?
That's the stuff.
The weirdest thing about Rosenbloom's tantrum, aside from his assertion that Rose's comments were "one of the most embarrassing things a player can say," is that he doesn't seem to realize that the Bulls' championship dreams and Rose's wish to live a healthy life are aligned interests.
The Bulls spent the last two seasons discovering that no matter how gritty and well-coached they are, they just aren't winning a championship without the offensive firepower that Rose can provide. If Rose is missing games early in the year because he's trying to avoid injuries—ones that would prove detrimental not only to Rose's post-basketball health, which Bulls fans aren't obliged to care about, but to the team's title hopes—everyone should be just fine with that. Except maybe for Chicago sports columnists, who are always happiest when they have an excuse to call Derrick Rose an idiot and a pussy.