Hey Derrick! I’m Ronald Agers, Co-Editor of Pippen Ain’t Easy. You know the Bulls website which is the best choice for Bulls news, previews and reviews. I have to tell you, the NBA is in an uproar these days. It seems that all things not All-Star related is about you. It’s like you are “Trending” now. Like that social media reference? Before I start to bore you or have you wondering… “Who is this guy?” Let me get to the point. I appreciate the fact that you working hard on your rehab. It is refreshing that you are not stealing money like a lot of your NBA peers have done lately (Andrew Bynum anyone?), but I’m going to beg you…Don’t rush back!
It’s not that I don’t like you. You are my second all time favorite Rose player. Sorry, Jalen Rose is my all-time favorite. Got his black and red throwbacks in the closet. But my son in college does have your hat. I just don’t want you to make the same mistakes I’ve seen other players in your position make. I know basketball is your life. It’s supposed to be your life and I respect that. But if you want to play well into your thirties and be effective doing it. You will stop and listen to my advice. Slow down. Do your rehab and change your game. Please.
Remember Penny Hardaway? He played for the Orlando Magic in the early 90’s. He teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal to form a dynamic duo. He was a bad boy Derrick. He was the most dominant combo guard of the era. He could score, rebound, set people up in the offense. He was the next coming of Magic Johnson. He even played in the NBA Finals, even though they came up short against the Houston Rockets. If Hakeem Olajuwon wasn’t playing out of his mind at the time, or Nick Anderson had hit a free throw in Game one. The future for the franchise would have not been bright, but blinding. Two things happened though that changed everything. One, Shaquille went to LA. Two, Penny started to have knee problems. The fans and the organization would inquire on how long it would take to get back. Well I remember, the fans voted Hardaway into the All-Star game. He had been hurt, hadn’t played for quite a while. But for some reason, he decided to play in the midseason celebration. After the game, he went right back on the shelf with bad knees. Things went sour after that. The Magic traded him to Phoenix. He was supposed to team up with Jason Kidd to form the “Backcourt 2000″. Well by then, Penny’s knees were shot and things did not work out. he finished his career in Miami (Betcha’ didn’t know that) based on a favor from Shaq. He was slow, terrible and waived.
You are a young dude Derrick. You might not remember back that far. Okay, I can respect that. Let me give you a more recent example. How about Brandon Roy? You remember, he played for a few years with the Portland Trailblazers. His story is a little different, his knees were an issue from the giddy-up. Well his problems started to become chronic and he had to sit out for a while. The fans and the organization inquired on his status. Well he rushed back as well just in time for the playoff push (Does this scenario sound familiar?) Well Derrick, at the time, it seemed okay, Brandon played well and he received accolades on how tough he was coming back so early to help his team and play so well. Well the next year, he went on the shelf for his knees which were bone on bone. he never recovered. It broke my heart when I read an article saying he was in tears on the bench when he knew he couldn’t help his team the next year in the playoffs. He then retired over knee trouble. He came out of retirement to finish out his career in Minnesota. Problem was, his knees did not come with him. He was waived. This move ultimately got the General Manager David Kahn fired. The consensus was this man, being Brandon Roy had no business getting a two year 10 million dollar contract with no knees.
Derrick, here’s the point. Get healthy. Forget the Bulls, the Olympic squad, everything. Just work on rehab and your game. Because you are going to have to change it now. Good Luck! You’ll need it!