By David Schuster-
(CBS) Derrick Rose needs another coach. Not a basketball coach — Tom Thibodeau is just fine in that regard. What Rose needs is a coach to instruct him on how to deal with the media and in turn the fan base.
This issue is at the forefront because on Tuesday, Rose shed light on why he’s sat out four of Chicago’s first eight games this season, going off-script on a question that simply asked him to assess his early season play.
“I’ve been managing myself pretty good,” Rose said. “I know a lot of people get mad when they see me sit out or whatever, but I think a lot of people don’t understand that … when I sit out, it’s not because of this year. I’m thinking about long term. I’m thinking about when I’m done with basketball, having graduations to go to, having meetings to go to. I don’t want to be in my meetings all sore or be at my son’s graduation all sore (years down the road) just because of something I did in the past, so it’s just learning and being smart.”
In my mind, what Rose said about being there for his kid’s graduation and business meetings was insane. It wasn’t the time to bring up life after basketball. But the real problem is that Rose has been so filled up with nonsense by his older brother/manager Reggie and handlers that you just know the words coming out of his mouth often aren’t even his.
If Rose had simply said that sitting out a few games here and there would ensure that his health would be better for the playoffs, that would have been great. And if he added that his intentions are to have a long career, then we wouldn’t be making much of this.
But Rose has always been guided by others. He may be 26 years old, but he doesn’t consistently come off in that manner, and those who are (supposedly) guiding him aren’t doing him any favors.
If you go back and look at some of the decisions made and things that have been said over the years, you will see that Rose hasn’t been in control of his own situation.
Following the first knee surgery after suffering a torn ACL in April 2012, he was finally cleared to resume basketball activities and eventually he practiced with the team later in the 2012-’13 season. Many, including myself, wanted him to get back to playing, but his people helped prevent that from happening. And then we started hearing periodic goofy things from Rose like “muscle memory.” That wasn’t coming from him. That was pumped into his head by others. I believe he actually wanted to play that season but was convinced it wasn’t the right decision for his future.
Then when Rose had the meniscus surgery after the November 2013 injury, it could have been done one of two ways. Rose and his people opted to have the surgery that would keep him off the court longer but would insure a longer career. And that’s the crux of all this — Rose wants to be around for a long time and so do his people.
That’s completely understandable, but Rose needs better coaching on how to properly express himself. Whether it comes from the Bulls or from others, he definitely needs that help.
David Schuster is a reporter, update anchor and weekend host for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @Schumouse.