Bulls fans need to accept Derrick Rose

By Mubarak Salami

For Bulls fans, patience with starting point guard Derrick Rose is starting to wear thin.

For the past two seasons and the beginning of this year, Rose has been sidelined with a myriad of injuries. In addition to his inability to stay on the floor, Rose has tormented Chicago fans with comments to the media that are often untimely and almost present the Chicago native as unaware or completely oblivious to the responsibility that rests squarely on his shoulders.

This nonchalant attitude has never been more evident than it was this past Tuesday when Rose addressed the media about criticism from fans, and those around the Bulls’ organization, for sitting out games.

“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,” Rose said.

The 26-year-old also went on to add that people need to understand that he’s thinking long-term about things, essentially saying that winning a championship right now with this team, for this city: his city, is not his primary concern.

How stupid. How completely and utterly absent-minded.

However, here’s the thing. Bulls’ fans, myself included, need to relax.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I have been highly critical of Rose in the past (including a vicious column I wrote last week) because of his seeming lack of toughness. Yet, now I see the bigger picture. I understand that I simply need to accept Rose for what he is.

But, what is he?

Rose is an elite talent who, when on the floor, completely changes the dynamic of the Bulls’ roster. Chicago’s championship hopes rest on his unreliable knees.

Rose is also a fragile, high-maintenance superstar who will say incredibly stupid things at the worst times. This isn’t the first time he has missed games that he probably could have played in, and it certainly won’t be the last.

I understand that now.

Sure, it’s OK to get frustrated when he gets hurt every other game or when he says he cares more about not being sore for meetings 10 or 15 years down the road than playing right now, but everyone shouldn’t overreact.

Fans need to take the apathetic approach. I’m not saying fans should pretend to be okay or happy with his behavior. I’m saying to accept it, to realize that it’s not going to change.

Rose will continue to get hurt. He will continue to miss games. He will continue to speak out of turn.

As Bulls fans, that’s our life with him and that reality isn’t changing any time soon.

I used to get mad when, day after day, Rose would be listed as questionable or as a game-time decision even though his injuries were just minor aches and bruises.

But not anymore.

If that means that he will be healthy come playoff time, then so be it. At the end of the day, the Bulls’ main goal is to compete for a championship at the end of the year. Every decision, every action made by the team is made with that end goal in mind. Every choice either moves them farther or closer to that objective. As frustrating as it might be at times to accept, I now realize that when Rose sits, Chicago gets closer to that objective.

When he sits out, that’s another day he can rest. Another day he can use to prepare himself for the long haul.

So for now, everyone relax. Take the good and the bad that comes with Rose because that’s all we can do.

Let him do his thing and hope he is healthy enough to lead Chicago to a championship come June. Be patient.

Besides, anything worth having is worth waiting for.

Mubarak is senior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @justmubar.