By George Ofman-
(CBS) Oh, what’s the use? Derrick, don’t come back this season. There’s no reason to.
If you want to play alongside Daequan Cook, Malcolm Thomas, Vladimir Radmanovic and Marquis Teague, be my guest. Please contact your insurance agent first, or at least your brother Reggie. This is not the right atmosphere to bring back a superstar, no matter what he thinks and since Derrick has lolly-gagged this long, best he films another comeback commercial with Adidas. Just make it a comeback commercial for next season, not this.
If ever infirmary and the Bulls were uncomfortable bedfellows, it’s this season. If you started counting man games lost, you might be counting until next week. If it isn’t Joakim Noah pestered by plantar fasciitis then it’s Rip Hamilton getting paid for convalescing (although he finally returned last night against Toronto). And as much as you can admire Kirk Hinrich’s grit, isn’t it about time he was administered basketball euthanasia? Not to mention Taj Gibson is limping on a gimpy knee and Marco Belinelli’s tummy is out of whack.
This is no way to roll out a red carpet for the franchise. Think he doesn’t get it? Would you want to venture out into this playoff facade?
Granted, Tom Thibodeau deserves a medal for squeezing as much out this aggregate as he has. Then again, there are some who believe the medal should be jammed in Thib’s chest. When it comes to rest, the head coach files that under a four letter word with you attached. He wants to win every game he bosses no matter who’s playing. If he was stuck with a bench full of nuns, he’d run them until their habits faded. But he’s still a heck of a coach who doesn’t have the services of his best player.
As the playoffs loom, you look at the East and exclaim, “Who can’t the Bulls beat other than the Heat?” I’ll take the Knicks for seconds. After that, they probably could win a series but not without a reasonable roster. Even if Rose decides to sit this one out, the Bulls won’t get by the first round if Noah is out, as well. And judging by how difficult it’s been for him to manage his feet, the chances of him being effective could be compromised. And if Gibson is still bothered by his knee well, forget it. But let’s say everyone is ready to go for round one. Do you gamble? Does Rose gamble? Do his bosses roll the dice? Rose recently disputed he couldn’t play 35 to 40 minutes a game. Wonder what Gar Foreman and John Paxson think about that? I know what Jerry Reinsdorf thinks. How does NO WAY sound? But what’s the point? So what if you can beat the Nets, or Hawks or the other schmaltz that’s left. Then what?
We’ve waited this long for the return and have gotten back: “Return to sender.” It’s not worth it. Go do another commercial, Derrick.
George Ofman is a sports anchor and reporter for WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM. Look for him on Facebook and find him on Twitter at @georgeofman.