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MORRISSEY: Calls for Derrick Rose trade leave me dismayed

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose works before first half Game 3 an NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal against

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose works before the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal against the Miami Heat, on Friday, May 10, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Updated: May 13, 2013 12:30PM



I don’t think I’ve seen more anger directed at a member of the ­Chicago sports community than I have at Derrick Rose.

Not at Tank Johnson, Jay Cutler, Carlos Marmol or Adam Dunn.

Not at LaTroy Hawkins, Milton Bradley, Bill Wirtz or Jerry Reinsdorf.

And in the non-sports category, not even at Cubs fan Rod Blagojevich.

If you want to pick a topic that will elicit outrage in people, choose Rose over the daily slaughter on our streets. Silly, isn’t it? All this hatred toward a basketball player for the sin of doing the wise thing. All this for doing what’s in the best interest of the Bulls’ future. All this for protecting the most valuable knee in town.

I’ve received e-mails, and the city’s newspapers have received letters to the editor, all saying the same thing:

Trade him. Trade that no-good so-and-so. Establish a franchise in Fargo, N.D., and trade him there.

Really? Trade Rose because he doesn’t feel ready to test his surgically repaired knee in a game?

Fine. Here are two No. 1 picks and a starter for Rose. Happy?

Or, how about Rose for Kevin Love, straight up?

Wouldn’t life be so much better? You wouldn’t have that former NBA most valuable player to kick around anymore. No more having to put up with a unique point guard who drives the lane without fear. No more having to listen to teammates gush about a future Hall of Famer. No more 25 points and eight assists a night.

I’m serious. How many of you want to see him gone? Judging from what I’ve heard from people around the city, the number is not insignificant.

All because Rose has offended your notions of what toughness is supposed to look like. You went through years and years of dreadful basketball after the Michael Jordan years. Now you have a player who might be in Jordan’s stratosphere, and you want him out of here. This is further proof of the decline of civilization.

But he should be playing, you cry. That sentiment is based on what, exactly? Let’s look at the arguments more closely:

◆ Rose is dominating in practice! Says who? Show me one player or coach who has said that Rose is tearing it up. You can’t. This is an example of something being said so many times that it becomes gospel.

◆ Look at the Knicks’ Iman Shumpert and the Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio! Both suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments last season. Both returned during this season. So what? Every knee is different. During Rose’s surgery, a portion of the patellar tendon was used to replace his torn ACL. For some people, it can take a year to get knee strength close to what it used to be. For others, it can take more or less time. Why do we presume that Rose’s healing should be on the faster side? Because he’s an athlete? Because he makes a lot of money? Sorry, it doesn’t work like that.

◆ The Bulls’ doctor has cleared Rose to play! Again, so what? It’s not the doctor’s knee; it’s Rose’s knee. And Rose says it doesn’t feel right yet. Why don’t we just trust him on this one?

No one has done a good job of handling the situation — not Rose, not the Bulls, not the fans, not the media. It never should have come to this. There never should have been this much abuse directed at an athlete who used to be considered the epitome of heart.

Now some of you want him traded if he doesn’t suit up against the Heat.

If Rose did come back for Game 4 on Monday at the United Center and got hurt, the people who were pushing for his return would say that it was simply meant to be, that he could have gotten injured in practice.

It’s the same argument that was used when Rose got hurt a year ago: It was an injury waiting to happen; it could have occurred anytime. But it didn’t happen anytime. It happened when Rose was in the late stages of a playoff game that was already in hand for the Bulls. He shouldn’t have been on the floor, not after a season filled with injuries.

Same thing now: He shouldn’t be playing in a series that’s going nowhere for the Bulls. Let him heal.

If Rose doesn’t get traded, I expect all of you outraged people never to cheer for him again. That will prove difficult when he leads the Bulls to an NBA title, though.



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