Derrick Rose isn’t with the Cleveland Cavaliers in Chicago, but after his time away from the team where he contemplated his future, he’s rejoined the fold.
Cavaliers coach Ty Lue said Rose is “too young and too talented” to give up his career so quickly and said the team will be happy to have him back. Rose is in Cleveland rehabbing from the sprained ankle he suffered a few weeks ago. The injury was the first link in the chain of events that led to him stepping away.
Well, the real first chain was Rose tearing his ACL in 2012 while a member of the Bulls, setting off a series of starts and restarts, steps and missteps, while not being able to reclaim his MVP form of 2011.
It’s clear the situation has weighed on Rose in the time since, and the Cavaliers are all trying to be supportive given his myriad injuries, as he's probably two weeks away from hitting the floor again.
“Whatever he needs. From coaches, from the organization, from the players,” Lue said. “We’re here for him, and we’ve always been here for him since Day 1.”
Many believed joining a team headlined by LeBron James would be the best environment for Rose, a pressure-free space considering the Cavaliers have made the NBA Finals each of the last three years and are heavy favorites to qualify for a fourth straight year.
With a deep team, there would be little asked of Rose, especially with Isaiah Thomas scheduled to make his Cavaliers debut in a few weeks. The thought was he could play his game off the bench without the wear and tear that comes with having to play 35 minutes a night.
But everything with the former MVP has been a mystery, and he went through a similar instance last year with the Knicks where he disappeared before a game without contacting anyone from the franchise.
This time, at least, he notified the Cavaliers of his plans to step away.
“It’s impossible. None of us can understand what someone is going through,” James said. “You just don’t know. We support him in whatever he’s going through, and we’re going to be a shield for him if he wants to use us. Hopefully he wants to use us. And just try to keep his mind on basketball and try to help him with everything else.”
James said he hasn’t had any contact with Rose since Rose left the Cavaliers more than two weeks ago. Rose is averaging 14.3 points in 26.9 minutes a game for the Cavaliers, who have gone on an 11-game winning streak after starting 5-7.
“I’m sure he’s going to have a conversation with guys,” Dwyane Wade said. “That’s the way it goes in this league when most guys have their moment where they talk to the team and say the things they need to say.
“And then the team moves on. As we said early on, we understand. I’m sure we’ve all had a point where we’ve all been overly frustrated about different things in this game, injuries or playing time or roles. Sometimes you need to get away.”