In case you haven’t heard, Michael Jordan just turned 50. More important, in two weeks, Derrick Rose will turn 24 1/2. One man’s halfway to 100. The other is halfway to we-don’t-know-where. This is for sure: Rose is not a kid, a project, a diamond-in-the-rough anymore. He’s a wounded, prime-of-his-career superstar who finds himself teetering on the ledge between an ascendant past and an uncertain future. At not quite 25, Jordan won the greatest All-Star dunk contest ever at old Chicago Stadium in 1988, beating Dominique Wilkins with a free-throw-line takeoff immortalized by photographers. In those photos, from front and side, you can see Jordan suspended in mid-air, jaw thrust out fiercely, the ball cocked defiantly by the side of his head. There is no such iconic photo of Rose. Yet. Which is the issue. Derrick Rose has yet to do what all great heroes must do — return from setback. Become even greater than before. When he told USA Today recently that he wasn’t sure how his rehab from knee surgery last spring was going, that he didn’t know if he would be able to play at all this year, Rose sounded worried and hesitant and defensive. He never has been through anything like this ACL injury, and it has left him shell-shocked. That is understandable.
As MJ roared back once, so must Derrick Rose
Chicago Sun-Times | Feb 19