Shoot for It with Alex Lee ’16 and John Beneville ’16

by John Beneville and Alex Lee | 10/1/15 6:01pm

Alex Lee ’16 and John Beneville ’16 are back again for the third week of “Shoot For It.” This week we’ll be weighing in on Derrick Rose, who continues to struggle to stay healthy. After recovering the from a torn ACL and meniscus for the last few years, Rose suffered a left orbital fracture after taking an elbow to the face in practice.

Although Rose has had surgery and is expected to return to practice in two weeks, this is terrible news for Chicago Bulls fans who have seen this tree before. According to a tweet from “SportsCenter,” Derrick Rose missed 103 games in the last 2 seasons, while Tim Duncan has missed 97 games in his 18-year career.

Because of all his injury questions, this year “Sports Illustrated” ranked Derrick Rose 60th out of the top 100 players. Not too long ago, the Bulls superstar was considered to be the league’s best point guard and perhaps the most explosive guard of all time.

Now Derrick Rose is dealing with yet another injury. Will Derrick Rose be able to shed his injury-ridden label or will 2015-2016 be more of the same? This week we discuss what to expect from Rose in the upcoming season.

John’s Take: When news of Derrick Rose’s injury came into our war room I can’t say I was surprised. Rose has managed to break almost everything in his body in the last few years, and I guess his face was next on the chopping block. I mean seriously, this dude brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “A bull in a china shop.” Rose would try and pick up a stack of tea cups and break both wrists. Has the guy heard of vitamin D? Calcium? Raloxifene? At this point he’s like an old woman with osteoporosis and should probably check into a nursing home — ask Steve Nash for some recommendations.

I do feel for Rose though, it must be tough to have to sit on the couch and rake in the $60 million that he’s made over the last few years. My advice to Rose? Buy several hundred TempurPedic mattresses, get Empire Today to install them as wall-to-wall carpets and don’t leave the house ever again.

Truth be told, I’ve been very optimistic about Rose’s future over the last few years. This time, though, I’m not so sure. Besides the massive quantities of ice and Advil that he’ll be taking to the dome over the next few weeks, I don’t know what lies ahead for the former star. Rose has been dealing with some serious issues off the court, and some of his critics have questioned his resolve to return from the injuries that he’s had in the past.

It’s never a good sign when a player’s work ethic and love of the game is questioned, and this makes me think twice before casting my lot in with Rose. Alex believes that Rose will have a comeback season, but I’m predicting he’ll be spending more time in a courtroom than on the basketball court.

Alex’s Take: I’m going to be honest — I’ve never been a big fan of Derrick Rose. Even when he won MVP in 2011, I thought LeBron James deserved it — but I concede that this is coming from a LeBron “fanboy.” His entire career, Rose has relied on violent, unpredictable slashes to the basket. His overwhelming combination of strength, speed and athleticism pushed him to the upper echelon of the league for several years, but this came at a cost — both of his knees started degenerating and his entire career came into question. Players like Derrick Rose, Tracy McGrady and Amare Stoudemire that over-rely on their athletic gifts are bound to decline in their early 30s when father time finally catches up. Without his physical dominance, Derrick Rose is just another point guard with below average skills.

Despite all of this, I think that Derrick Rose is going to have a good season. In his preseason interview, Derrick Rose said that the only two things he has on his mind are his son and the upcoming season, a statement which hints at the importance of his financial success. Poor Adidas. How many “comeback” marketing strategies can one company employ before people start blaming their shoes for players’ injuries? Though it remains unclear how much motivation Rose has when it comes to winning championships, nobody doubts his commitments to his family and money. Rose has obvious financial motivations to perform well the next two seasons in order to secure another max contract during the summer of 2017.

Furthermore, the Chicago Bulls are a much better team than they were during Rose’s prime years, and not having to carry the entire load will help moderate his minutes. The ascendance of Jimmy Butler, who is essentially a younger, more athletic Luol Deng, and the emergence of under-the-radar point guard Tony Snell will draw defenses away from Rose, freeing him to move in the lane unchallenged. Given Rose’s financial incentives and general improvement of his team, I expect Rose to have a moderate comeback season, but the Bulls will yet again lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.