He was unbreakable. Fear was nowhere on his mind once he stepped inside of that 5,096 square ft rectangle. It was his escape, his life, his everything. He would have died on the court, like died. He was, invincible. Adidas was going to make millions. Kids were wearing red #1 jersey’s all over the world. There were going to be parades that ended in Grant Park. Chicago basketball was back, and we had one person to thank for that, Derrick Rose.
That Derrick Rose just described is gone, dead for ever, and never to return. It was a “Return” campaign that would never and will never be fulfilled. A false promise that nobody could see coming, not even him. This is a new Derrick Rose, a Rose we all need to embrace. A rebirth. He’s not the same person that left us on April 28th, 2012. No, not even close. This is a completely different person.
Physically at times he looks the same. Playing with the same reckless abandoned that he once possessed. Albeit far less frequent than he use to, but he still shows that killer instinct to attack when he smells blood. He’s strong, quick, confident, and to the naked eye, fearless. The death I speak of is not the physical death of Derrick Rose but the mental one. Something that some are just now finding out about, while others, well, they will soon grasp this news and start to coupe with it amongst themselves.
Rose is not soft physically, but mentally it’s debatable. He says everything is going to be good. He knows how great he is and can be. How he isn’t scared and never felt more confident, however, actions speak louder than words Mr.Rose. Your on a game off a game performances scream fear. Your inability to string together multiple well-played games has us all second guessing you. Your approach to dealing with these so-called minor injuries has almost everyone in a panicked state. Those of us that have accepted the new Derrick, we are going to be just fine, as the grieving process is behind us. For everyone else, time heals all.
Not all of us are capable of letting go of the past, realizing the changes that have happened in the last two and a half years. Above all, he’s a father now. He will no longer look to “die on that court”. That’s not to say Derrick has lost the love for the game. That is to say Derrick has realized there is more to life than basketball. He is no longer immortal, no longer unbreakable, and now has haunted fears inside of that 5,096 square ft rectangle. The ghost of Derrick Rose haunts him daily. Rose has to accept the fact that he won’t ever again live up to that super-being. The man who missed 6 games total in his first 4 NBA seasons. The man who played through injuries, played through being hurt. The man who won the MVP. It may have taken him a while, but Rose has almost moved on.
So whether he is battling back from a nagging ankle injury, and tweaked hamstring, or is suffering from fatigue, just know this isn’t the Derrick Rose of old, who is making these decisions to take his time coming back. That this is the mortal Derrick Rose, the human. The one who still is very capable of being everything physically that the old Derrick Rose once was. However mentally, he won’t ever be the same. So gear up Chicago, it’s the beginning of a new era, a destiny that can still be fulfilled. Chicago’s own can still bring a title back to Chicago, he can still be the reason Grant Park fills up in late June. And children all over the world won’t soon stop wearing their red #1 jersey’s. Just this path isn’t going to be as smooth as the original path. In order for all this to take place, there are going to be bumps and obstacles along the way.