All Chicago cares about reading next about Derrick Rose can be found only in a box score.
ROSE: 32 MINS, 11-17 FG, 4-5 FT, 27 PTS.
Everybody just wants Rose to produce statistics that are real, not interviews that are orchestrated. Nothing else in the Bulls season that hits the All-Star break Thursday really matters until Rose returns to the court to lead a playoff run — unless Rose doesn't return at all.
Rose oddly broached that possibility himself in a USA Today exclusive Tuesday that demanded everybody's attention because it raised questions that go beyond the stability of his knee — questions perhaps not even the Bulls can answer.
Questions about whether the humble hometown hero from Englewood has gotten lost somewhere amid a corporate marketing campaign packaging him. Questions about how much control the Bulls really have over a player they have invested $95 million in — or $165 million less than Adidas invested. Questions about who ultimately will decide when or if Rose plays this season: Team Rose or his NBA team?
"I'm not coming back until I'm 110 percent,'' Rose said. "Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready.''
Asked to put a percentage on his health, the Bulls guard gave hope to everyone who had next season in the When-Will-D-Rose-Return? pool.
"Right now, probably in the high 80s," Rose said. "Far away. Far away."
Remember that nothing Rose has said or done during his rehabilitation has happened by accident. Adidas turned Rose's grueling recovery from knee surgery to repair a torn ACL into a slick six-part commercial for its pitch man titled "The Return.''
As compelling as every scene was to watch, it was heal-for-hire. In the episode that includes Rose returning to the United Center floor, he hugs his brother as a group of fans, brought in for the shoot, cheer. It made for a great commercial but blurred fantasy with reality enough to create cynicism about anything potentially affecting Rose's brand campaign.
You know, like Tuesday's strategic comments. When first reading Rose's quote Tuesday about "not coming back until I'm 110 percent'' I admit to wondering if those words would be part of an upcoming ad campaign, complete with Twitter hashtag: #110percent.
Who's running show regarding Rose's return?
Chicago Tribune | Feb 13