Derrick Rose talked to the media Thursday for the first time since tearing the meniscus in his right knee against the Portland Trailblazers. The South Side Chicago native entered the media room at the United Center on crutches and talked at the podium for 20 minutes.
After greeting the assembled media with the casual, “What’s up,” he talked about the night he was injured and what his days have been like since undergoing surgery last Monday.
“The process of actually dealing with the injury is kind of frustrating at first, knowing that I’m going to miss a long period of time without playing the game that I love playing. It was tough right when it happened but me having these days just to think about it about, I’m appreciative of going out there and actually showing glimpses of how I used to play. That’s encouraging.”
Rose underwent surgery on Nov. 25 and said that since then, he hasn’t been doing much of anything besides physical therapy with Jen Swanson, the Bulls director of sports performance. He has yet to begin his rehab regimen, as he’s required to be on crutches for a certain amount of time before that can happen.
Still, Rose cites his faith in God, a belief that all things happen for a reason and the support of his family, friends, teammates and the Bulls organization as the source of his strength these days, and says he’s been through tougher things in his life growing up in Englewood.
“I don’t have anything to complain about. I think the hardest thing I had to go through in life, period, is living in poverty and not being able to get what I want. I have everything that I want [now], I just can’t play the game that I love playing. I have my son and he’s going to be huge in this process. I’m around him a lot. I don’t know, maybe God wants me to slow down a little bit and me having this time off just gives me time to think, to grow as a man and grow as a businessman.”
While some have said that Rose will never be the same again after two knee injuries and subsequent surgeries, he scoffed at the notion that he’ll be diminished as a player. Many have opined the Bulls should blow the team up and start over, even going so far as to suggest they somehow find a way to move on from Rose.
When asked what he thought about that suggestion, Rose took a few moments, appearing to be giving it some serious thought before saying, “You can be a fool if you want to.”
For now, Rose is focused on his health and getting back on the basketball court as soon as he can. He also didn't rule out a possible return this season, especially if the Bulls make the playoffs.
When asked what he would tell his own fans and fans of the Chicago Bulls who are disappointed at another setback in his career, Rose simply said, “I’m not done ... If I were to look 10 years into the future, looking back, I think this is going to be minor. Its something that just happened, but I'm never going to stop. Never”