Friday, March 13, 2015

0 comments Safely Behind His Keyboard, Scoop Jackson Suggests Derrick Rose Should Risk Further Injury to Win an NBA Title This Season

I have no idea what goes on in Derrick Rose's head. I'm not sure anyone other than Rose really knows. What I do know is that Rose has suffered another injury which will prevent him from continuing to reach his potential and also potentially prevent the Bulls team from reaching their potential. Scoop Jackson has a sort of vague idea that he is pushing. He thinks when Derrick Rose comes back the Bulls should just go-for-broke. I'm not 100% sure what all this entails, but it seems to entail Derrick Rose playing all-out and ignoring whatever part of him that wants to hold back and prevent a further injury. It's remarkably easy for a sportswriter who is sitting behind a keyboard to suggest an athlete just go all-out and not worry about his health, because that sportswriter doesn't have to worry about anything other than bleary eyes while staring at his computer screen. Scoop Jackson admits this, but says that Rose should still go-for-broke and worry about the consequences later. The worst advice sometimes come from those who don't have to deal with the ramifications of their own advice. It's a brave man who can suggest another person risk his health in order to achieve a professional goal. Yeah, everyone else should rub dirt on it and continue playing. Easy to say while sitting on the sidelines and not dealing with the emotional, physical, and psychological effects of continuously being injured.

Now what?

There are so many answers to that small yet supremely meaningful two-word question that there's almost no place to start where any answer is the right one.

Well, there is a right answer. Go-for-broke NOW. Lay it all on the line and try to win an NBA title while holding nothing back. That seems to be the only right answer Scoop can find. I'm not sure if the Bulls weren't trying to go-for-broke and win an NBA title prior to Rose's injury, but apparently they were missing a certain panache that would satisfy Scoop's need for someone else to put life (okay, maybe not "life) and limb at risk for an NBA title.

With recent concerns over the six weeks Jimmy Butler is likely to miss with a high-grade ulnar ligament elbow sprain and small bone impaction and the unknown return of Taj Gibson from an ankle sprain (he's day-to-day but in a walking boot), the Chicago Bulls are back to the familiar territory of having to play "next man up" basketball until at least the opening round of the NBA playoffs.

Other NBA teams have injuries they need to play through as well. It sucks the Bulls lose so many key players, but perhaps these injuries are a reason why ignoring the chance of a recurring injury by coming back from injury too soon isn't in Derrick Rose's best interests. Of course, this column isn't about Derrick Rose's best interests, it is about Scoop Jackson's need for the Chicago Bulls to win an NBA title THIS YEAR.

But with direct, laser-aimed concerns about Derrick Rose and his possible (and quasi-promised) return to the court before the playoffs begin, the answer for all parties involved is simpler and far less unsure than we might think.

It's less unsure than "we" might think? I love knowing how "we" think, as told to me by a sportswriter.

I'm basically saying it's all-out-or-nothing time. It's "we don't give a damn anymore because we have nothing left to lose" time for both the Bulls and, more importantly, Rose.

I'm not 100% sure what this means exactly, but it certainly sounds like Scoop thinks the Bulls should just try and win the NBA title this year. It seems he also thinks Derrick Rose should play in the playoffs regardless of whether his injury is healed or not, since he has "nothing left to lose"...except for the continued health of his body for the 2015-2016 season of course. That is unless Scoop thinks the world is ending prior to the start of the 2015-2016 season and so it doesn't matter if Derrick Rose is healthy or not for that season.

It's go-for-broke, full-on-attack, us-against-the world mode. 10X Rule-style basketball. A beast mode of which Marshawn Lynch knows nothing.

This is basically bullshit, hyperbolic writing that lacks meaning without specific examples of how the Bulls can or should "go-for-broke" and "full-on-attack" the NBA. Derrick Rose should play hard in the playoffs, regardless of whether he is healthy or not. Great, what else is included in the Bulls going "10X Rule-style" beast?

For Rose, simply use that final minute of the second quarter of Chicago's Feb. 11 game against the Sacramento Kings as a capsule: eight points, 60 seconds. It was as if Rose finally said "Kobe" and turned the game back into what it had always been to him: His muse.

This was back when Rose was healthy, prior to the injury he suffered that will knock him out until around the time the playoffs begin. See, being healthy is what helps Rose to say, "Kobe" (in saying "Kobe" does Rose mean that he's about to suffer a season-ending injury?...that's what Kobe does in his older age) and take over the game. 

Can he get through this season unscathed, uninjured, without setback? That answer, over the course of the 46 of Bulls' 60 games in which Rose been able to play, is "no." So now that we know what we know, that's all we need to know.


Derrick Rose can't make it through a season uninjured and that's all that we need to know. So doesn't this mean the Bulls should not count on Rose being healthy all season and go-for-broke with or without him? I wouldn't logically think the answer to this non-question is for Rose to just play injured since he can't stay healthy.

He knows what he knows, and for the remainder of this season, that's all he needs to know.

We are at the point in this column when Scoop Jackson is writing words that he believes to be very deep and meaningful, and they sound deep and meaningful, but they are really mostly gibberish disguised as insight. Confuse the reader, write words that seem meaningful and maybe they will ultimately actually come off as a meaningful. Derrick Rose knows that he is always injured, so he knows he will have a hard time getting through a season healthy. Logically, I would think Rose would accept this and try to play in as many games as he can or simply retire. The way Scoop Jackson looks at it though, this means Rose should accept he's always going to be injured and play through injuries because of NBA titles and such.

So this next phase of Rose's re-re-re-return -- if the Bulls are honestly desperate to win the Eastern Conference, play in the NBA Finals and win a championship this season -- has to be in direct correlation to what we've all learned, discovered and now see to be truth.

Yeah Scoop, but what if what we've learned, discovered and now see to be the truth isn't really the truth, but is a lie that is testing the will of the Bulls team to keep true to what they really know is true and all they need to know? What if Rose's re-re-re-return is merely an example of the truth the Bulls already knew and so what we know now isn't what they knew that they knew, but is all that Rose and the Bulls already knew and have known to be the truth? So this "new" truth isn't the truth but is just another example of what the Bulls already knew and they shouldn't adjust their strategy based on this "new" truth?

No more being conservative, waiting to see what might happen. Throw caution, concern and care to the Lake Shore Drive wind and worry about the results and collateral damage later.

This is easy for Scoop to say when he doesn't have to deal with the repercussions of another injury and not being conservative while throwing caution to the wind.

Once the Bulls' roster is whole again, the "next man up" mindset should seamlessly and immediately be replaced with a "started from the bottom now we're here" belief (or lie) that if it doesn't happen now for this team, it is never, ever, ever ... ever going to ever happen.

While possibly true, I'm not sure that Derrick Rose should come back from injury ASAP even if his injury isn't completely healed. The idea the Bulls may never, ever get back here again would be motivation for Rose to come back quickly, or it could be motivation for him to get healthy and hopefully get a chance to get back there, if not with the Bulls, but with another NBA team. It's so easy for Scoop to say "go for it all" while passively suggesting that Derrick Rose not give a shit about his injuries when he's not the one who has to worry about Rose's health for the next 60 years of his life.

For someone who doesn't have to pay Rose for the two years remaining on his contract, this is both easy and reckless to say.

I give no credit to Scoop Jackson for some self-awareness because he's not changing his behavior based on being self-aware. It is easy and reckless for Scoop to say, which is why the suggestion could be seen as somewhat absurd. If the Bulls know Rose can't stay healthy, then they should just not count on him being healthy, not expect him to play injured.

Again, I have no idea how injured Rose is or if he was too conservative with his previous rehabs and recovery from knee injuries. I don't know if another athlete could have returned more quickly or not. I'm not sure anyone knows this. I do know that NBA fans don't have a right to watch Derrick Rose play basketball if he doesn't want to further injure himself. It's shockingly easy to sit back and judge Rose for not playing through injuries, but sometimes injuries are more psychological than physical. Sometimes injuries just don't go away because a player wants to grit it out and there is life after basketball.

But at this stage, in this recurring act of this Theatre of Cruelty, what do the Bulls have left to lose? The window for the Bulls winning a championship with this "close to perfect" on-paper squad is very small as things stand

What the fuck is Scoop even talking about? What does he want the Bulls to do in order to "go-for-broke"? The trade deadline is passed and the Bulls can only hope to get players who have been bought out and are free agents. What the hell does he mean when he says the Bulls "have nothing left to lose" and what action steps does he want them to take? I'm very confused about the specific steps he seems to believe the Bulls should take in March so as to win an NBA title.

As in, this is probably their strongest, if not only, chance. Cleveland is not going to get any worse (even with LeBron James probably being at the beginning stages of the back end of his prime), and this is as vulnerable as it's going to be as long as LeBron remains in a Cavaliers uniform.

(Note: Neither are the Hawks, nor the Raptors, going to get worse. And Paul George is coming back. Neither are the Warriors, nor the Trail Blazers, going to get worse. And Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are coming back.)

The Bulls have to win the Eastern Conference before they can start worrying about whether the Warriors, Trail Blazers and Thunder are going to get worse or not. A step at a time.

Add to that contract ends coming up (Butler) and age creeping in (Pau Gasol, Mike Dunleavy) and the continued rumored uncertainty about Tom Thibodeau's future here, and the Bulls need to treat the playoff run once Rose returns as a straight-up "can't kill something that's already dead" last stand.

I still don't understand what Scoop is advocating for. Have the Bulls previously not tried really hard to win the NBA title or something? Have their previous playoff appearances resulted in the team just half-assing it in the hopes next year the team will be more healthy? I don't get exactly what Scoop wants the Bulls to do different in the 2015 NBA playoffs that they haven't done in the past...other than tell Derrick Rose to play basketball, regardless of his health.

And from a pure state of mental selfishness, Rose needs to do the same. In his mind, he should be in nothing less than a final-opportunity state of consciousness. Anything less wouldn't be fair. To us or him.

This is selfishness to suggest that it wouldn't be fair to Derrick Rose if he didn't come back as hard as he can regardless of his health. Obviously Rose needs to play as hard as he can while on the court, but if he's not 100% healthy then he either shouldn't play or play limited minutes. I know it's not what Bulls fans or Scoop Jackson wants, but I don't believe Derrick Rose has an obligation to incur further long-term injury simply because Scoop Jackson throws some vague words and hyperbole together suggesting it isn't "fair" if Rose doesn't do this.

He has to ask himself: Is the game more significant than the injury? He also has to live with the answer.

Exactly. Scoop doesn't have to live with the answer. Derrick Rose does.

At this point, seriously, what do either have to lose? The Bulls or Rose? If they fall short and don't win, so be it.

Maybe I'm stupid. I don't understand from the Bulls' perspective what they should be doing differently to go all-out and try to win an NBA title. I'm assuming from the way the Bulls team is built and the free agent moves they made in the prior offseason that they are trying really hard to win a title. What Derrick Rose has to lose is that if he comes back prior to being fully healthy then he could incur long-term damage to his body or he won't be able to play during the beginning of the 2015-2016 season due to being injured. 

At least all involved (and all watching, invested in and concerned) will know that a Broncos-signing-Peyton Manning risk was taken for something bigger than the wait-and-see existence that has been the Bulls organization's life the past three seasons.

The difference being that when Peyton Manning needed surgery while with the Colts he sat out the entire season and then got healthy so that he could play in future seasons at as close to 100% as possible. The Broncos took the risk on Manning after Manning had gotten healthy, they didn't trot him out on the field when they weren't fairly sure his neck could hold up to a full season of playing football.

And when the final buzzer sounds on this Bulls season, whatever is left on the court and whether or not Rose is still standing, it will be a source of unmatchable pride worth honoring for however long he is able to play basketball.

This is just an incredibly over-dramatic statement. This whole column is very, very dramatic and lacks specific detail.

For Rose, it will be the step he needs to take to begin not only the process back to being who he once was as a player and person, but also to begin his possible exit from Chicago. 

Yes, Derrick Rose should come back from injury and play as hard as he can regardless of whether he is healthy or not so he can begin his possible exit from Chicago. Okay. Because if Rose gets injured again then another NBA team is definitely going to immediately want him.

The burden both on him and for him has become unrealistic, at times unfair and, at this point, too heavy.

Says the guy who is writing a column full of dramatics about this being "all-or-nothing time" and suggesting Rose should go-for-broke and try to win an NBA title, regardless of his health, because that's what Scoop Jackson and (some) Bulls fans want him to do.

Anything less than winning a championship this season, with Rose the Finals MVP, is just a furthering of one of those Chicago nails deeper into his proverbial coffin.

So if the Bulls don't win a title and Rose isn't named Finals MVP then Derrick Rose will be considered a failure? Here is what Scoop just wrote about the burden on Rose:

The burden both on him and for him has become unrealistic, at times unfair and, at this point, too heavy.

Then Scoop follows it up by saying anything less than an NBA title this season with Rose as MVP will just make him seem like more of a failure. Apparently the rules of placing a burden on athletes doesn't apply to Scoop Jackson.

His home city has become too unforgiving, Michael Jordan's shadow too big and Rose too careful for anything good to come out of what's left of him playing out his contract as a member of the Bulls.

Unless he decides to ball out in his return.

So if Rose doesn't play in the playoffs and then comes back to win the NBA MVP during the 2015-2016 season, the city of Chicago will not embrace him at all? I don't believe you.

It's ridiculous and over-dramatic to say these playoffs are Rose's last chance to win over Bulls fans. If he came back healthy next year and played like he's capable of playing then he would win Bulls fans over again.

He's been so damn focused and concerned about having his basketball life back he has been unable to "just play." To smile, to laugh, to laugh at himself, to ball, to be Pooh.

Why have Rose and his doctors been concerned about rehabbing and making sure he's recovered from injuries in the past? They should have listened to Scoop Jackson, M.D. and told Rose to "just play" and everything will fall into place after that. Broken arm? "Just play" and you will be fine.

Which is all the more reason Rose needs to go for it with reckless abandon and anger when he returns. For the first time in more than three years, just live and play in and for the moment. This singular moment.

I'm sure if he feels up to it, then he will. Otherwise, I don't see why Rose would want to continue hurting himself to play a sport when he has 60 years left to live and pay for "living in the moment" while being a basketball player. I recognize that nearly everyone wants to see Rose on the court, but going for it with reckless abandon and anger isn't any good if Rose physically, emotionally and psychologically doesn't feel up to doing this. Maybe he's a wimp, who knows?

This moment that's left. Rose needs -- even if for a brief period of time, and at the expense of missing more time in the future -- to get "just playing" out of his system ... and back into his life.

These words, "just play" don't really mean anything. I hope Scoop knows this.

Because unless Rose gets back to that point, and until the Bulls reach that point with him, anything he does will forever be considered less than zero.

This is a falsehood. If Derrick Rose comes back healthy and plays well then it's not true that anything he does will forever be considered less than zero simply because he didn't win an NBA title for the Bulls. Stop the dramatics, stop the nonsensical writing about "just playing" and "going for broke" when there's really no indication what the hell this is supposed to mean, and finally, stop telling athletes what they are required to do for the sake of their legacy.