Derrick Rose will make his official comeback to the NBA on Tuesday night against the Miami Heat, 18 months and a day after tearing his ACL in the first round of the playoffs last April. Basketball fans everywhere are excited to have D. Rose back in the league, as are his peers, which includes Miami Heat superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
“I'm happy and I'm proud that he's back,” James told reporters in a recent interview with ESPN. “Being a fan of the game and being a fan of his, I'm happy with what he did last year being able to stay strong throughout everything and throughout all the adversity and everybody criticizing him about what he should do.”
Although the Bulls and Heat are chief rivals – evidenced by some chippy games between the two squads during both the regular and postseason, and Chicago being unable to get past Miami in the playoffs – there is a respect that exits between the two teams borne out of competition. And even if you don’t actually like someone, no player wants to see another go down due to injury; especially injuries as severe as an ACL tear.
"The game needs him," Wade said. “You never want to see anyone get hurt, especially a player of D-Rose's caliber. Just because I'm a competitor doesn't mean I don't understand the importance of Derrick Rose to basketball. So it's good to see him back, and good to see him confident. He's going to make it tougher on everybody.”
The journey towards the championship begins for these two teams begins on Tuesday and any pleasantries shared by Miami’s superstars towards Rose beforehand will go out the window once the ball is tipped. But as for right now, it seems that everyone is glad to have Derrick Rose back on the court.
"It's just great to see [Rose] back to full strength," James said. "The game is happy to have him back."