Iman Shumpert hasn’t spoken to his Chicago cohort Derrick Rose, but he understands Rose’s recent comment that he could postpone his return until next season.
Shumpert and Rose played high school basketball during the same time in Chicago, and they each had major knee surgery after tearing their ACLs on the same day — April 28 — last year during the playoffs. Shumpert returned to the Knicks in mid-January without a lot of early success. Rose has yet to come back to the Bulls at all.
Rose, the superstar point guard and 2010-11 MVP, told USA Today on Monday, “I don’t have a set date. I’m not coming back until I’m 110 percent. Who knows when that can be. It could be in a couple of weeks. It could be next year.’’
Shumpert said he understands Rose’s sentiments.
“I get it,’’ Shumpert told The Post Wednesday before the Knicks’ ugly 92-88 loss to the Raptors at the Garden. “I get it. He’s a franchise player. He has a lot to do when he comes back. The Bulls are playing good right now. He doesn’t want to come back and mess up the rhythm as he works himself back in.’’
Shumpert took his time, too, coming back just after the initial 6-to-8-month rehab time frame. The second-year swingman had said he wanted to make his debut when he felt he was ready to make an impact. He has not showed the shutdown defensive knack he had as a rookie, but he has no regrets over his timing of when to return to a supporting role on the Knicks.
“In my position, when I came back, I got guys we’re going to,’’ Shumpert said. “We have prime-time guys on this team. [Rose] is that prime-time guy. When he comes back, he has a lot on his shoulders. He never wants to hurt his team. He’s all about winning. I think if he feels he’s not 100 percent, he doesn’t want to be out there.’’
Knicks coach Mike Woodson said after last night's loss to Toronto that he may tinker with the starting lineup afer the All-Star break and turn to Ronnie Brewer, who began the season as the starting small forward as he kept the seat warm for Shumpert. Slumping Jason Kidd could also be in jeopardy.
Shumpert, who scored just five points Wednesday night, is struggling offensively, scoring 5.3 points per game and shooting just 33.8 percent going into last night. Shumpert has said his role in the offense is different this year, playing more small forward and being stuck in the corner to shoot 3-pointers.
Shumpert sympathetic to longer ACL recovery of Bulls’ Rose
New York Post | Feb 14