Pat Riley knows a thing or two about players coming back from serious injuries to go on to greatness in the NBA. So when it comes to Derrick Rose, the Miami Heat GM, Hall of Famer, and legendary head coach thinks the Chicago Bulls point guard will overcome the latest setback in his career.
"I can remember James Worthy, his rookie year when he was about ready to break through and become a superstar, he broke his kneecap on the last day of the regular season," Riley said to ESPN.com on Friday.
"One of the reasons we lost to Philadelphia in the 1983 [NBA Finals] is because James Worthy broke his kneecap. And then the next year, he had very severe tendinitis. It wasn't until 1985, after two years of injuries, that he actually got over the injuries, broke through and became 'Big Game James.'"
Of course, James Worthy was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest player and is now in the basketball Hall of Fame. And Pat Riley thinks D. Rose’s career can trend the same way after injuries to both of his knees.
"It's tragic from the standpoint of where he was heading and had already achieved as an MVP," Riley said. "And all of us in this league said this guy is on his way to becoming the best maybe of all time. So he's been short-circuited with two major injuries the last two years. And it will make him stronger. He will come back."
“This is something that is difficult for anybody to watch who respects hard work and talent and character. He's a high-character kid. From that standpoint, I think he's going to overcome this thing."