Although it has been a very successful campaign for the Chicago Bulls so far; in many ways it has been a frustrating season for the team’s All-Star point guard Derrick Rose. The reigning NBA MVP has been best by injuries for the entire season and has played in just 37 of his team’s first 50 games and in fact was back on the sidelines with a sore foot as Chicago took on the Washington Wizards Monday night.
Being the competitor that he is; combined with the impatience that is natural at his age; it has to aggravate the Bulls guard when he has to sit on the bench, while in his heart he wants to be out on the hardwood leading his squad. The young star has to pace himself however; especially with the Playoffs so close at hand.
Rose was on the floor on Sunday against the Detroit Pistons and knocked down 24 points including a game tying trey which sent the contest to overtime. Chicago would get the victory in the extra period sending the fans in Auburn Hills home unhappy as the Pistons fell 100-94.
The Bulls star would get dinged up in the fourth quarter of the contest as Pistons veteran Charlie Villanueva; in an apparent attempt to steal the ball from Rose, ended up hitting the guard in the face cutting his nose in the process. Villanueva was not only charged with a foul on the play, he ended up with a technical as well giving Chicago four points on the possession.
After the game according to the “Chicago Tribune” Rose complained to reporters about Villanueva’s actions as well as how he has been defended by competitors all season. The Chicago guard said “I’m sick and tired of people trying to take cheap shots at me. I was mad, man. I’m a man, so situations like that, you have to say something. He hit me in the face and didn’t even aim for the ball.”
Rose’s anger is understandable and justified; however if he believes that spouting off to reporters after a game will change the way game officials call a game, he is extremely naïve for a player in his fourth season in the Association. If he is fortunate the Association will ignore the remarks; otherwise he could be looking at a fine for his statements as Commissioner David Stern and Association Vice President Stu Jackson do not take kindly to their referees being criticized.
There is only way for an NBA team to stop opposing clubs from constantly going after their star player and that is to give their opponents a taste of their own medicine. If Bulls veteran Ronnie Brewer had knocked Rodney Stuckey on his butt with a good clean foul; Detroit and other teams would soon get the message that Chicago will no longer tolerate the treatment that their All-Star has received.
I am in no way advocating violence on the court or a for the Bulls to retaliate by going over the top and committing flagrant fouls against their opponents. However, the Bulls showing other clubs that they will not allow it to be open-season on Rose; will be far more effective than complaining to the media.