Now that the Bulls are two games into the playoffs, there's no doubt -- it's time to shut it down.
Stop with all the complaints about Derrick Rose.
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He should be playing. Joakim Noah's showing guts and Rose isn't. If he's healthy enough to practice, he's healthy enough to play.
Stop all of that. It's ridiculous.
Of course, it's natural to be disappointed that Rose hasn't made it back from ACL surgery. His teammates are disappointed. Adidas is disappointed. His brothers -- well, at least two of them -- are disappointed.
Just don't lose sight of the fact that Rose is the Bulls' best player since Michael Jordan. He has won an MVP award and led the Bulls to a 62-win season. Imagine the level of competitiveness that goes into reaching such heights.
It's killing Rose not to be playing. Sitting on the bench during the first two playoff games in Brooklyn probably was even more painful.
None of us has any idea what Rose is feeling in his reconstructed left knee as he works out before every game. But we can all imagine the frustration of watching your team go to the playoffs without being able to help. It stinks.
Former Bulls center Will Perdue talked about Rose's prolonged comeback during an appearance Tuesday morning on WSCR Radio.
"I talked to Derrick throughout the season when I was in Chicago," Perdue said. "It started out with, 'It's going really good, rehab's going well,' to 'I'm back on the floor, but I'm a little concerned because after I go hard, I get up the next day and there's some pain and some swelling.'
"I think what people are forgetting about is the severity of this injury. Even though the doctors mentioned 9-12 months (for recovery), that's just to get back on the floor.
"I remember talking to guys throughout my career who had this type of injury, (former Cavs guard) Mark Price being one of them. He talked about how he came back too early and he wished he hadn't done that. He talked about how he really wasn't right, didn't have his skill level back, until about 18 months."
There's no point in comparing Rose to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who has one game a week, or Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, a role-playing defensive specialist. Rose puts unbelievable stress on his legs as an aggressive, undersized NBA star.
When he filmed "The Return" commercial last summer, he probably expected to be back this season. It's unfortunate Adidas helped get the fans fired up for a return that didn't happen, but that doesn't change reality.
If Rose isn't playing in games, it's because it doesn't make sense for him to come back yet. It's not because his brother doesn't like the roster or B.J. Armstrong says no.
Insurance isn't an issue, either. Rose's contract is insured, but the payout is based on the number of games missed this season. There's no giant payout if he doesn't play at all. The Bulls already are in the process of being compensated.
Finally. imagine the fan reaction when Rose does finally play again. Will there be happiness or grumbling that he should have made an appearance in the Brooklyn playoff series?
Don't be ridiculous. This controversy will be long forgotten by then, so there's no point wasting breath on it now.