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Article posted: 5/17/2013 5:30 AM

Rose's lack of mental toughness huge disappointment

By

I've been watching sports in Chicago for half a century.

I have seen them all -- from Dick Butkus to Ernie Banks to Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan, Mike Ditka and Jonathan Toews.

The list goes on -- hundreds, probably thousands of pros who answered the bell and laid it all out on the field of play.

So the lack of resolve from Derrick Rose, a Chicago kid, has really disappointed me.

Michael Jordan came back early, but we all know Michael made his own moves.

I wonder if Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf regrets setting the tone and telling D-Rose to come back when he was ready.

After the Bulls' final game Wednesday in Miami, coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose will have the summer to get himself ready.

I'm not sure if the Bulls organization realized the situation they created when they cleared Rose to play in February -- because it did Rose no favors.

Plus dangling the carrot in front of Bulls fans saying Rose might play at some point this season was misguided and a huge blunder.

Whoever approved Rose to practice before games, work up a sweat and then put on his street clothes and sit on the bench couldn't have been thinking straight. Practicing during pregame warm-ups in front of cameras and 20,000-plus might have been the dumbest thing Rose could have done.

Didn't anyone besides the fans realize that?

Instead, now everyone has an opinion about the situation, and Rose's name has been nationally tarnished.

I was on a radio show in Philadelphia with former all-pro linebacker Seth Joyner, and he said it would have been a problem for him in the locker room. As a player, he would have confronted Rose and asked what was going on. How could Rose play so hard in practice but then sit during the game. Joyner also believes that the physicality of the Miami Heat series made Rose shut it down for good.

Now that's just one man's opinion, but I do know Rose will have enormous pressure on him next year. The Bulls have a huge problem -- their superstar point guard, supposedly the leader of the team, has come across as mentally fragile. If the kid comes back next year and plays well, most will be forgotten. That's what fans do, but to me Rose has to win a championship.

The Bulls are strong physically and mentally as a team except the point guard. They will move on, but Thibodeau still doesn't know what kind of player the Bulls will get next year in Rose.

Will the slightest pain force him to shut it down? We will have to wait to find out.

Program note:

Watch me on "Mancow" on WPWR Channel 50 at 6 a.m. Friday, Monday and Wednesday.

I'll be filling on Fox Sports Radio on Friday night from midnight to 5 a.m. Listen on XM247, iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

ŸMike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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