By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
(CBS) Complaining while not playing is a bad look for someone who has sold a phony reputation as a humble, team-oriented kid.
According to a story in the New York Daily News, Rose is now unhappy that the Bulls will have to reconstruct their roster in an effort to win a championship, apparently thinking that such a move would be a waste of his precious time and efforts.
“Rose has told several confidantes that he is worried that the Bulls will start to let the team hit the skids by allowing key players to leave via free agency, forcing him to go through a rebuilding program he wants no part of.
‘Derrick is worried that the Bulls are going to lose what they have,’ said a league source. ‘He doesn’t want to go through rebuilding.’”
Well, too bad.
What does he think they have, and where does he think it’s going? Most importantly, what does he not understand about the primary reason for the Bulls’ current plight? It takes some nerve to call out his employers after they have paid him 30% of their salary cap to miss consecutive seasons.
This is typical behavior from a player who has always done only what is in his personal best interest, everybody else be damned. He’ll take every last dollar, and enjoy all the team-supplied resources for medical consultations, surgeries, rehabilitation programs and various therapists, only to ignore their professional opinions just because he feels like it. And don’t bother asking him for even token assistance in welcoming potential free agents either, because he doesn’t want to.
At this moment, John Paxson and Gar Forman are trying to win an NBA championship more in spite of Derrick Rose than because of him.
It doesn’t help anything that Rose is not among the brightest bulbs, and that he still lives in an insular camp of cronies that is too often at odds with his team. It was understandable for him to be shielded from Englewood gangs and other unsavory influences enough to get him a fair shot at a pro career, but enough already. He’s 25 years old, in his fifth NBA season, is worth a quarter-billion dollars and has a family of his own, yet his uneducated oaf of an older brother remains the empowered svengali.
Reggie Rose is a clown, using the guise of brotherly love to aggrandize himself after a failed career as both player and coach that was marked by bizarre, immature behavior. Bulls officials have become increasingly frustrated by continued communication problems with Rose due to Reggie’s invasive influence, with one source telling WSCR “It’s like talking to a wall.”
Perhaps the best advice came from Charles Barkley last February, when he opined on TNT that instead of complaining about Bulls business, Reggie should “shut the hell up.”
Another problem is the presence of BJ Armstrong as part of Rose’s group as one of his agents. Armstrong’s personal bitterness toward Paxson and the Bulls runs long and deep: he’s still angry that he didn’t get the chance to replace Jerry Krause as GM and Paxson did, and the two former teammates are not on speaking terms. As long as he is allied with Rose there will be an undercurrent of conflict, with any comment or action subject to interpretation regarding ulterior motive.
Derrick Rose needs to grow up, wise up, and seize control of his image and career before he and the bozos around him fritter away a mountain of good will, scattering his civic capital to the winds.
He’s got the money, and that’s it.
He says he’s all about winning a championship, but then he carps about rebuilding when it appears his team is trying to do what it must to give him that very opportunity. That’s just dumb.
And it’s certainly not humble, so we can stop with that. The quiet superstar is quiet not because he is naturally self-effacing, but because he is bad at talking. The local-kid-made-good storyline is over. He likes to let his game speak for him, but then refuses to play even when instructed to by doctors. He opts for cartilage repair that requires a longer-term recovery, and then lacks the basic understanding of how that changes the team’s title trajectory.
As always, the Bulls are trying to take care of themselves while Derrick Rose tries to take care of Derrick Rose on the Bulls’ dime.
Sadly, the two endeavors don’t always seem to be working toward the same ends.