Oct 16, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Injured Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose in the stands during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Rose Taking Full Contact In Practice, One Step Closer To The Return

ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell broke the news this afternoon that Derrick Rose has began to take full contact in practice. To the delight of Chicago Bulls fans, this is what head coach Tom Thibodeau told him:

“He’s full contact, yeah. He can do all the cutting, he can do shooting, he can go off the dribble, so it’s just a matter of him getting acclimated to playing in a game situation. You have to understand that in practice you’re striving to get as close to a game-like intensity as you can, but you also have to understand that you’re not going to be able to get there, so that will be a whole different level. And we have to make sure that he’s ready to handle that intensity.”

Nick, with a plethora of knowledge regarding the situation, predicted that Rose would make his return immediately after the all-star break. But here at Pippen Ain’t Easy, I’m going to make a prediction of my own. Bottom line: there is no way Derrick Rose will be allowed to rush back.

Possibly the only positive thing that can come out of Jerry Reinsdorf being the most penny-pinching owner in the NBA (on account of the Maloof’s selling their team) is that he’s going to make sure that the Chicago Bulls are more than just careful with their $100 million man. This is what he said:

“There’s no date. The doctors say that he’s doing everything that he’s supposed to be doing and there’s no specific date. He’s not going to come back until the doctors say unequivocally that he has no greater chance of getting hurt than any other player. If there’s any risk, he’s not coming back.”

March 2nd, 2013. You heard it here first. By the way, do they have betting lines for this kind of stuff?

The return of Derrick Rose means countless things for fans, players and the NBA as a whole. Most importantly, it means we’ll be seeing even more commercials from Adidas.

Jan 23, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) warms up before the game against the Detroit Pistons at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

On a more serious note, what’s more surprising? That the devastating injury that destroyed the Bulls playoffs hopes may not be the worst thing ever or that I actually just said that out loud? Hear me out, though. For one, every single player on the roster been forced to carry his own load – even Carlos Boozer, albeit for short periods of time. So much so that Chicago will be represented by two all-stars in Houston this year, and not one of them go by the name Derrick Rose.

For the team, the 2nd seed in Eastern Conference and an elongated playoff run aren’t out of the question if Rose can be 80% of the player he used to be come May.

For the league, to put it frankly… it’s the return of Derrick Rose. Rose is more than just the face of the Chicago Bulls. He’s the face of an entire brand. The former MVP and Kevin Durant are considered the future of the NBA.

Derrick Rose is electrifying. He’s lightning-fast, almost to a fault. The movement of his body ebbs and flow between the the eyes of his defender. Ready to pounce at any moment, the opponent does everything in his power to avoid getting bitten. To nobody’s surprise, Rose takes what he wants and leaves the carcass on the floor to rot away.  He’s wired to be a champion. His loyalty extends no bounds. And here’s the best part: He’s almost ready to blow us away all over again.



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