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Report: Derrick Rose apologizes to Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 3: Derrick Rose #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on November 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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LeBron James said Derrick Rose didn’t need to apologize to the Cavaliers for his lengthy absence from the team while contemplating retirement.

Rose apparently did anyway.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose apologized to his teammates at shootaround on Wednesday for his recent absence and referenced frustration with his left ankle injury as the cause for his nearly two-week exile, a team source told ESPN.

Rose’s comments were brief and delivered to the team on the court before the Cavs readied themselves to face the Sacramento Kings, the source said.

High-level sports teams are often built on an internal belief/illusion that the team comes first, that players leave their personal problems at the door to focus on winning. In that environment, Rose committed a violation. Will his teammates forgive him?

It helps that he established himself as a high-level competitor, winning an MVP at his peak, and has attained veteran status with 10 years in the NBA. That all earns respect. His numerous significant injuries also likely draw sympathy from his teammates.

But I also wonder whether, one some level, the Cavs are so forgiving of Rose because they know they can’t rely on him, anyway. Isaiah Thomas will soon return, and Dwyane Wade has established himself as the playmaking guard on the second unit. If Rose isn’t playing, why fret whether he’s on the end of the bench or home in Chicago? That might be cold, but players have fallen out of favor with teammates for less.

Hopefully, everyone in Cleveland just accepts that a short mental-health break is sometimes necessary. But that’s not the prevailing attitude in professional sports.