Now that we’ve had a few hours to let the horrifying news that Derrick Rose is lost for the rest of the season we can begin to look back at what happened. It’s still a fresh wound and it’s not going to be easy but one thing we can’t do is place blame.
This is no one’s fault.
Especially not Tom Thibodeau’s.
In hindsight, it’s easy to toss the blame on Thibodeau for leaving Rose in. When something awful like this happens, something that shouldn’t have happened, we tend to need someone to blame, that’s just who we are as a society. But Tom Thibodeau didn’t go Tonya Harding and bust Rose’s knee with a lead pipe.
But for those looking for somewhere to place their anger and their pain, Thibodeau is an easy target. He was notorious this season for leaving starters in long after they should have been out. Just ask Luol Deng about this. So naturally when Rose is still in a game the Bulls are winning and in no danger of losing and he tears an ACL — a freak accident — Thibodeau is clearly an easy scapegoat.
Chicago fans aren’t Heat fans. They aren’t Knicks fans and they aren’t the type of fan base to turn rabid on a guy who has built them. I’m sorry but if there’s no Tom Thibodeau in Chicago there’s no 62 win season, no Easter Conference Finals match last year and Derrick Rose doesn’t win the MVP.
So to sit here and try and blame Thibodeau is just wrong.
We all would have kept Rose in, it’s in hindsight that we get wicked sharp vision of what should have happened. Rose was playing out of his mind and that’s what we wanted to see. He had been hobbled by injuries all season long and we were waiting for him to shake off the rust. He needed to shake off the rust and at the time, and throughout Game 1, he was doing exactly that.
So to take Rose out then would have gone against the entire mindset the Bulls had concerning Rose. It looked like he was back to form or at least getting there, so what’s a minute and a half going to matter.
In hindsight it turned out to mean everything. The season. The Playoffs. The Championship. Rose’s career.
But anyone who says they’d have legitimately benched Rose down the stretch of that game is either lying or pretending they’re not seeing things in hindsight.
Tom Thibodeau is not to blame here. He didn’t do anything wrong by playing his MVP and trying to get him back to form. The trainers aren’t at fault here. Gar Forman isn’t at fault here. This is no one’s fault. That’s one of the reason’s it’s so hard to stomach, we have no one to blame.
David Stern can have blame directed his way, so can the Union and the owners. As soon as they signed the agreement to allow a 66-game season, they doomed guys like Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard and took massive tolls on Kobe Bryant, Chauncey Billups and other older players who weren’t built so sustain such a season.
Trainers before the season said that a guy like Rose, who puts so much force on his body and contorts his body putting so much stress on his joints can’t hold up during a season where his body has no time to recover. We saw that early and it became a theme the whole year. If you must blame someone blame the greed of the players and owners.
They did this.
This is the consequence of how hard Rose plays. He violently jolts to stops, he pivots nasty fast after bringing his speedy self to jarring halt. This is the way he plays and in this shortened season proved that his body can’t withstand it unless it’s the perfect circumstances.
But this nonsense about blaming Thibodeau needs to stop, it’s stupid, it’s pointless and it adds to an already bogus situation. He’s the Coach of the Year, he’s the reason this team is the way it is and has come as far as it has. Blaming Thibodeau is wrong and any true (and/or sensible) Bulls fan is well aware of this.