Derrick Rose has taken a leave of absence with the Cleveland Cavaliers to seriously evaluate his future in the NBA.
According to a report from ESPN, there is ‘growing uncertainty whether he will return to the team.’ The same report also stated that Rose is tired of being hurt and that it’s taking a toll on him mentally. The Cavs’ point guard hasn’t played since the Cavs’ 124-119 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on November 7 where he suffered a sprained ankle after landing awkwardly after a flagrant foul by Greg Monroe. Rose has played in just 7 of the Cavs 18 total games this season.
Unsure What’s Next
Rose has not been communicating to several people privy to him inside and outside the Cavaliers organization. In a tweet, the Chicago Tribune’s K.C Johnson reported that those close to Rose ‘are unsure what happens next’.
Since suffering an ACL tear during the Chicago Bulls’ first playoff game of 2012, Rose has missed a total of 175 ( out of a possible 412 ) regular season games. In between he’s suffered multiple knee injuries and has had to undergo several surgeries just to get back on the basketball court.
Last season, Rose played 64 games for the New York Knicks and averaged 18.0 points per game, his best production since the 2011-12 season. He signed a $2.1M deal with the Cavs during the offseason and it looked like a change to a winning environment could bring out the best that was left in him.
Chance To Start
With the Cavs’ expected starter Isaiah Thomas still out with a hip injury, Rose was given a chance to play as the starter. He played fairly good, scoring 14.3 points per game on 47.0% FG shooting and 90.5% from the foul line. He also averaged 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 26.9 minutes of playing time per game.
As he has been all throughout his career, Rose way abysmal from three point distance for the Cavs, shooting the rack at just a 23.1% clip from downtown. However, he was excellent around the basket, making 67.5% of his shots around the basket and 51.4% overall on two point shots.
Before their current six game winning streak, the Cleveland Cavaliers struggled to start the current NBA season at 5-7 but were 4-3 with Rose playing. However, a close look at the stats showed that Rose was a -4.7 for the Cavs offensively and a net -18.7 overall for the team.
Derrick Rose broke into the NBA as the #1 overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft out of Memphis. He was drafted by his hometown Chicago Bulls team and was supposed to be their next hope after Michael Jordan.
Rose immediately made impact by being the first #1 overall pick since LeBron James to win the 2009 Rookie of the Year award, joining Michael Jordan and Elton Brand as the only Bulls rookies to do so. In his first playoff game, Rose scored 36 points against the Boston Celtics to tie Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s record for most points in a rookie’s playoff debut.
Two years later, Derrick Rose was named as the 2011 NBA MVP after leading the Bulls to the best record in the NBA and the number one seed in the playoffs. Chicago finished the 2011 season with a 62-20 record, their first 60 win season since the Michael Jordan era. He was All-NBA First team in 2011 and an NBA All-Star from 2010-2012.
But Rose’s flourishing NBA career came to a tragic halt the season after he won the NBA MVP award. In Game 1 of the Bulls’ 2012 first round series matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers, Rose injured his knee after jumping. An MRI revealed that he tore the ACL of his left knee. It was downhill from there.
After missing the entire 2013 season, Rose returned to action for the 2013-14 season. But after just 10 games played, tragedy struck again. Rose was shut down following a meniscus tear in his right knee. As a result, he underwent his second major surgery in three seasons .
A determined Rose returned in 2015 and led the Bulls to the playoffs. Still, he missed 20 games that year after suffering a medial tear on his right meniscus ( the one injured in 2013). He underwent another surgery but was able to return just in time for the postseason. Rose was traded to the Knicks in 2016 where he had one of his best seasons since his injury. Still, he underwent a fourth surgery during the 2016 season after a meniscus tear, this time in his left knee.
If this is indeed the end for Derrick Rose, then his NBA story ends on a sad note. Many were hoping that his move to Cleveland would bring the old fire back in him. Rose was determined to get his redemption with the Cavs and his new teammates loved the idea of having the former MVP as back-up to Isaiah Thomas.
But after suffering yet another injury, it appears that Derrick Rose has gotten very frustrated. Maybe not as much because of his game nor the Cavs’ slow start but more of his inability to play on a consistent basis not just this season but since 2012. The injuries took away his body now it may have taken away his mindset.
This is not the first time that Rose has suddenly left his team in the middle of an NBA season. During his stint with the Knicks, there was a similar incident when he went AWOL and his whereabouts were totally unknown. He would later resurface and blame his disappearance on a family issue.
Want Rose Back
Despite the uncertainty, Cavs head coach Tyron Lue expects Rose to be back at some point during the season. Said Lue, via ohio.com:
“Yes, I did. I reached out to him and texted him and told him that we support him,” Lue said. “And know that he’s going through a tough time right now, but he’s still very talented, which you saw in the Washington game, the early part of this year and even last year. So take as long as he needs to take and we wish him well and we want him back.”
It’s great when your coach has your back, especially in times like these. Cleveland will have Thomas back hopefully in January but having Rose as his back-up is going to be a big plus, especially in the playoffs. But the big question here really is if Derrick Rose still wants to play again. If he doesn’t you can’t really blame the poor guy.
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