By Matt Spiegel-

(CBS) What matters is his knee.

Derrick Rose should and will play when the the knee is ready physically, and when he is ready mentally.  He has to be confident in that knee’s health.

Everything else?  It’s just noise.

The Bulls chances for a Finals trip this year, which I believe we could sincerely debate, are just noise.

The organization’s business desires are just noise.

The fan’s expectations and longing for his presence on their television, sadly, is not relevant.  I miss the spontaneous couch noises his greatness elicits at my house.  But those noises are, yes, just noise.

Adidas’ vision of the perfect moment for #thereturn is just noise.

Derrick has to listen to his doctors, his trainers, his brain and his knee.

The media firestorm these last few days is coming off badly.  Grousing about how Derrick has not spoken to you, when his agency set up a conversation with USA Today, is a bit unseemly.

I know you may be responding to the pressure of your bosses, or the hunger for information from your readers/listeners/viewers, but don’t make it about you.

The real problem is when writers question the motivation of his potential return – it comes off like some weird version of sour grapes.

Look, Adidas has made a commodity of his rehab and comeback.  If a columnist’s angle is that Derrick’s personal business pursuits and handlers are driving the comeback (an angle I don’t agree with), then those interests would mean he comes back as soon as possible.


So, those asking who’s in charge of the decision to return, which entity would be the one holding him back from the team and the fans exactly?  Everyone involved in this story would like to see him back as soon as possible. If the knee permits it.

Nothing has changed.  It’s exactly the recovery time frame, with exactly the vagaries involved, that we heard about from the moments after his surgery.

When Derrick talks now about waiting on health and health alone, season be damned if need be, that fits.

So, what’s the issue?  Why the sudden anger towards him?

Don’t let the slow timetable, the lack of consistent information, or the recent declining level of Bulls play create some kind of conspiracy here.

It’s just noise.

Listen to Matt Spiegel on 670 The Score weekdays from 9am–1pm CT on The McNeil & Spiegel Show and Sundays from 9am–Noon CT on Hit And Run. You can follow him on Twitter @MattSpiegel670

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