The 2011-2012 season was the Chicago Bulls' best chance at winning a championship until injuries to key players became more difficult to overcome than their first round playoff opponent.
A few days after Derrick Rose's surgery, Dr. Brian Cole gave Bulls fans news that they didn't want to hear: D. Rose could be out as long as a year. Dr. Cole set that expectation as a timetable for when Derrick could possibly take the court again, not be the same, explosive player that we're all used to.
So that means we're possibly looking at not seeing him in uniform again until the 2013-2014 campaign if the Bulls were to somehow miss the playoffs next season. That's not something that fans want to hear, but it's a reality that they'll just have to accept for now.
As much team success as the Bulls have had over the past two seasons, it's become more and more apparent the organization needs to add a second superstar to play alongside Rose. As brilliant as his individual play has been and even though he does have a solid complimentary cast around him, there is no question he needs another player as brilliant and talented as himself to run with.
Does any of this sound familiar? It should. These are the same things that were said about LeBron James regarding the reason behind his much publicized exodus from Cleveland. He can't do it by himself and he needs more help were the primary themes in his free agency.
Of course getting a second superstar didn't happen due to a lack of trying on the part of Bulls management. They basically gutted the roster in 2010 to make a play for Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the aforementioned James but came away with Carlos Boozer, CJ Watson, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver instead.
Obviously the Bulls achieved a measure of success with those players and that's something to be proud of for sure, but Derrick Rose was the common denominator and without him it's scary to think of how good or bad the team will be next year.
Tom Thibodeau has always maintained that the Bulls had more than enough to win and Derrick has always acknowledged publicly that he felt confident in his teammates, but the writing is on the wall.
An elite player to compliment Rose is what's needed in Chicago right now -- especially with his injury -- and the elephant in the room is if the Bulls go after that player now or do they wait? If they choose the latter, they will essentially be conceding the 2012-2013 season as a loss.
As disappointing as that may sound, the City of Chicago has been waiting since 1998 to hang another championship banner atop the United Center. A couple more seasons won't hurt.