So much comes to mind the moment Derrick Rose collapses again.
And before he is even helped to the locker room, the tweets, texts and emails are flying in at a furious rate.
Contact information ( * required )
Bulls fans have cashed in the season and begin discussion immediately of how to get the No. 1 pick in next year's draft.
What's the best way to tank? What's the fastest way to the bottom? What are the percentages for getting the top selection?
And if the top pick isn't there, this is one of the deepest drafts in years and a great chance to gut the team and start rebuilding right away.
It calls into question the futures of every player on the team. Carlos Boozer is an amnesty next summer, Luol Deng is gone as a free agent, Joakim Noah is a trade candidate, Jimmy Butler is no longer a lock to re-sign next fall and maybe Taj Gibson has value on the market before teams figure him out.
There is even the question of whether there is any way out of Rose's huge contract.
Yeah, this is what was going through the minds of Bulls fans Friday night and all day Saturday as Chicago awaited news on Rose's right knee injury, a meniscus tear requiring surgery.
During the 16 hours it took to get the update on Rose, many Bulls fans had come to the conclusion that the window for this group had slammed shut, and it was time to think about what was next.
The first thing I thought of was how rough this must be for Rose, and of his unfulfilled promise.
There was an instant feeling of dread, that coming back at 100 percent from one ACL tear was conceivable, but that returning from yet another knee injury as the same player Rose was when he won the MVP seemed unlikely.
I remembered Rose deciding in the summer of 2010 that there wasn't anything he couldn't accomplish in the NBA. It was the year he said he didn't have to recruit free agents. It was the fall he said he could be the MVP.
Something happened to Rose at the World Championship that summer in Istanbul, when he woke up and realized he was the best point guard in the NBA. He was bigger, stronger and more explosive, and in his sights was everything that basketball, the NBA and Chicago offered.
It had been 20 years since an NBA team had a superstar point guard lead his team to an NBA title, but Rose spoke like a man who knew something no one else did.
After a preseason game that fall, Rose talked about what was possible, long before anyone else thought it realistic.
"I think I could be the MVP. Why not?" Rose said. "I think we could win a championship. Why not? I expect to win a lot of titles here. I want to see those banners up there. I want to add more banners up there. I mean, that's why we play, right?"
Rose won the MVP that season and took the Bulls to the conference finals before losing to Miami. But the next season was filled with injuries and Rose never was completely healthy before succumbing to the worst of his injuries.
All the old questions about whether someone his size could survive in the NBA, playing where he did and the way he did, resurfaced.
Last season Rose rehabbed and again there were dreams this fall within the Bulls organization of competing for the big prize next spring. While not buying the title talk, I was certain he would win the MVP this season.
Yet, Rose is gone again and now it is impossible to avoid thoughts of Rose never again being the player he was when he took the NBA by storm and stole the MVP from LeBron James.
It is certainly not easy in sports to see brilliance taken from an athlete in his prime, perhaps never to regain it. While it may be hard to feel sorry for a guy worth a couple hundred million dollars, it is nevertheless sad to see someone as gifted as Rose have removed from his arsenal the weapons that made him elite.
If that is ultimately the case, that is sad indeed.
•Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.