Ten days into his promising comeback to basketball, Derrick Rose tore his menial meniscus in his right knee and will be out for the remainder of the season.
This was the year that the Bulls finally get back their missing piece, a transcendent point guard who can create offense. The Bulls need Derrick Rose because they traded away their offensive stopgaps, Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson, and without the once-in-a-lifetime talents of D-Rose they will be able to stop the other team from scoring, but will have quite a bit of trouble putting the ball in the basket. Derrick Rose was supposed to be the captain of a very able-bodied crew and lead the Bulls back into true championship contention. The native son of Chicago was supposed to restore the glory that’s been missing since Jordan’s jumper in Utah swished through the net.
The Bulls were supposed to be the most interesting team in the league. They were ranked #1 in a large amount of preseason polls over the two-time defending champion Heat. They were fine without Rose last year, but this year with a glorious offensive weapon in combination with their impeccable defense, they were slated to be borderline unstoppable and we were to be treated to beautiful, excellence on both sides of the floor, basketball. And now that’s all over, at least until next year. It’s not fair.
As the French say, “C’est la vie.” Life is unfair. Things happen that should not. The most deserving robbed and the undeserving glorified. Storybook endings are rare and Life usually hands us complicated, unresolved, and confusing moments that really are neither good or bad, but just are.
It’s depressing that Rose will miss the rest of the season, and that such a mighty tree in the forest of NBA basketball has fallen. But in the forest when a mighty tree falls, sunlight is let in that allows the growth of other trees that never would have see the light. Now that “the return” has been postponed for another season, who will rise?
Will the Pacers firmly establish themselves as the number one contender in a weak Eastern Conference? Will John Wall or Kyrie Irving shake off the mediocrity that has plagued their teams and lead them on inspiring playoff campaigns? Will the Knicks or Nets remember how to play basketball and begin to fulfill the lofty goals that we had for them at the beginning of the season? Or will a team like the Pistons or the Pelicans or (hell, why not?) the Kings reverse their losing culture and begin to contend once again?
We can’t know, but what is exciting, even in these sad times, is that there is vast potential in this league for teams to better themselves now that a place at the top has been opened. I can not imagine what the season has in store, but Rose going down is not the end of a compelling season, but just the opposite. It is a major plot twist that has changed the planned trajectory of the year and will have consequences that we cannot possibly foresee.
We’ll see you next year Derrick, but I can’t wait to see what the league has in store for us now.