By Brad Spencer
If you listen to sports radio on occasion — or any type of local radio for that matter — then chances are you've heard the annoying commercial where a rather snarky gentleman tries to convince listeners to refinance their mortgage by crudely insisting, "It's the biggest no-brainer in the history of the world!"
I both love and hate that commercial. It's honest yet demeaning. Maybe the jamoke is trying to persuade you to refinance for his own personal profit, or maybe he's being genuine in telling you it's wise to do this now with someone, if not him, for your own benefit. Who knows, who cares, but Derrick Rose needs to play this season.
I feel the same way about that commercial as I do about Rose possibly not playing this season even though his ACL injury has healed. (Apparently, the mental aspect of the injury lingers.) OPRF High School grad Iman Shumpert has returned to the Knicks after tearing his ACL around the same time Rose did last season. Therefore, I'm worried Rose is delaying his comeback because he either doesn't believe this Bulls team can advance far into the playoffs and/or he's afraid he will not immediately dominate.
You play. You get injured. You heal. You play again. You get back in there — for yourself and for your teammates. It's as simple as that for Rose who, uncharacteristically, told USA Today a few weeks ago that he has "no problem" with sitting out the remainder of the season.
No problem with it? This is his job, his livelihood. It's supposed to be his passion. He should be dying to get out there and help his teammates, even if it will take more than a few games before he's slashing through defenses like the Rose of old.
You don't give up. You don't throw in the towel for the season. It doesn't matter that the team you're playing for can't compete against the likes of Miami or New York or even Indiana in the playoffs. You charge ahead, and you vigorously try to dispel the notion that the Bulls are inferior to these teams.
Rose's brother, Reggie, can light up the Bulls brass all he wants for not doing a better job of surrounding Derrick with a better team, but that should have nothing to do with getting back on the court. We should be reading quotes from Rose like this: "I am so eager to get back out there and help this team. I'm chomping at the bit. I just need more time. Jeez, I hope, I pray it won't be next season but instead next week or tomorrow. I just can't tell you when for sure right now."
That freak-of-nature Adrian Peterson came off an ACL tear and rushed for 2,000 yards this season. We're not asking for such astonishing results. Just give us some minutes, and then a few more minutes and then a few more.
Rose, you need to play this year. We need you to want to play this year. We need you to play now. Why? Because you're an exceptional athlete and humble and you truly believe in the team aspect of basketball. And you're healed.
It's the biggest no-brainer in the history of sports.