The Wilting Rose?

There always seems to be a player in every generation in the NBA that captivates audiences, has co-workers at the water cooler saying, “Did you see when (insert player’s name) leapt out of the building and nearly caused everyone in the crowd to lose their minds?!” Yes there are names like LeBron, Jordan, Bird, Magic, Dominique and so on and so forth that everyone will argue who would win one on one or who was more clutch. But then there is the other category, as Eddie Martel from the movie The Replacements so eloquently put it to the protagonist Shane Falco, “You’re not even a has-been, you’re a never was!” Yes, sadly this category is for those who had the visible skill set, the great leaps of athleticism, they had it. It being that killer instinct, that mentality that said, “Get the f**k out of the way or I will go through you. These players are the Len Bias’, the Penny Hardaway’s, the Grant Hill’s, Greg Oden, and (for the love of basketball let me be wrong) possibly Derek Rose. He had the traits and story, the hometown kid, the struggle of coming from a rough background, the humbleness, the likability. The fact that he is the youngest player in history to nab the coveted MVP award in the 2010-2011 season with the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant had their names on the ballot as well. He had plays that made people ask themselves if Newton had it all wrong and that gravity was only a choice we lived by. He and his ferocious Bulls team were the team to challenge the new-look Heat for dominancy in the Eastern Conference. Then the ACL tear happened, then the waiting, the return and then another tear in his uninjured knee. It was as if you were about to finally hook up with that one girl that was going to make everyone say, “Damn I can’t believe Josh got with her, way to go Josh!” Instead she got back with her ex-boyfriend and all your friends tried to reassure you that she would break up with him again.. But sometimes that’s not how life works. Sometime’s life squeezes lemon juice in your paper cuts or you step in gum in your new shoes. That’s just how it is. Life can take away great possibilities just out of bad luck or a wrong landing. But hey, there are those redemption stories that we all hear, the comeback tales of ridiculous proportions. Maybe it’s the half-full view I like to have when discussing the Rose situation. Best wishes D-Rose, the basketball world will be holding it’s breath until we see you back on the court. The shelf space is too crowded for you to join the “Could’ve Been’s”.

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