Chill the [bleep] out — Rose has always been fragile

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Joakim Noah had a point last night when he emphatically defended injury-prone teammate Derrick Rose after the game by saying, “everybody needs to chill the [expletive] out.’’

Yes, Bulls fans are getting impatient with the fragility of the NBA’s 2011 MVP. Yes, the media is tired of receiving ambiguous injury updates. Yes, Adidas is worried about their brand.

But for anyone who has ever really followed Rose’s career—from the AAU days to last night’s ‘hamstring tweak’—this is nothing new. Maybe it’s the explosiveness with which he plays. Maybe it’s in his genes. Or, maybe it’s just bad luck. Whatever the case, Rose is, was and always will be prone to injury.

If you don’t believe it, here are just some of the accounts from Chicago Sun-Times archives of D-Rose’s litany of injuries. Take a good look. It might explain why the 26-year-old player is mentally worn out, and why “everybody needs to chill the [expletive] out.’’

NOVEMBER 7, 2005

Michael O’Brien wrote about Rose, heading into his junior year.

The most dramatic moment of Rose’s first varsity season came in the semifinals of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Rose sprained his right ankle catching an inbounds pass with five seconds to play in a tie game. He limped to the free-throw line and hit the second of two free throws to seal the win, falling to the ground in pain after the shot. His teammates carried him off the court. That was probably the most pressure shot I ever took in my life, Rose said. I had to make the second one for my team, and I did. Rose’s right ankle is his Achilles heel. It hampered him in four different games. It’s always the same thing, Rose said. I sprain it just by dunking or doing basic layups. I’m scared if I try to dunk that I’m going to re-injure it, so I try not to.

DECEMBER 18, 2005

Michael O’Brien on the big showdown with Eric Gordon:

INDIANAPOLIS—There was a sea of orange in the heart of Indiana on Saturday. Illinois basketball fans came out in force to watch two Fighting Illini recruits, Eric Gordon of Indianapolis North Central and Brian Carlwell of Proviso East, play in the Circle City Classic at Southport High School. It just shows where the program is at, Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. The fans have followed us wherever we’ve gone. Now it’s even advanced to where they’re going to high school games to support us. Gordon put on quite a show for the Illini faithful, scoring 32 points in the Panthers’ 68-66 win over No. 2 Simeon. Maybe it was the pizza he ate Friday night, or the way he tweaked his ankle in the first quarter, but Simeon guard Derrick Rose just wasn’t himself. Rose scored six points on 2-for-11 shooting and had nine turnovers. He didn’t score in the second half. Last night he had pizza that upset his stomach, Simeon coach Robert Smith said. He came out and gave a gutty performance.

JULY 9, 2006

Michael O’Brien on the highly anticipated AAU showdown with O.J. Mayo

Perhaps it isn’t meant to be. The idea of a showdown between Simeon’s Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo of Cincinnati has been kicked around for more than two years. Public League basketball coordinator Cyrus McGinnis tried to set up the game during the regular season in Chicago, and countless promoters also have attempted it. It seemed that Reebok’s Sonny Vacarro finally had pulled it off when Rose spurned the Nike camp and showed up at the ABCD camp Wednesday in Teaneck, N.J. The Rose-Mayo showdown was scheduled for Friday night. Then Rose’s trick left ankle, which has been sprained numerous times, flared up again. Rose slipped on a metal covering on the court at Fairleigh Dickinson University during drills Friday morning. It was just a freak thing, Rose said. It hurts, but I really want to play. If you look at my ankle right now, it looks like there is a baseball up inside of it. Everyone is telling me to be smart and I know I have to be, but I want to be out there. Rose didn’t play, and neither did Simeon teammate Tim Flowers, who has a bad back. Rose recently stopped wearing the ankle brace that he wore during the state finals in March. He had really built that ankle up good and strong, so we weren’t worried about it anymore and didn’t think he had to wear the brace, said Reggie Rose, Derrick’s brother and club-team coach.

JULY 24, 2006

Despite nursing an ankle sprain, Rose finally meets Mayo

HENDERSON, Nev. — The anticipated matchup between Simeon’s Derrick Rose and Cincinnati’s O.J. Mayo came off Sunday at the 304-team Reebok Big Time Tournament. As high as expectations were, the game exceeded them. Playing before a full house, the DI Greyhounds won 83-82 when the 6-5 Mayo converted a controversial four-point play with 2.9 seconds to play. While Mayo finished with 26 points, including 7-for-8 three-point shooting, it couldn’t diminish Rose’s brilliant triple-double (21 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists) for Meanstreets Express. After the game, Rose was angry that a foul was called on him when most observers thought Mayo was not touched. I don’t care about the triple-double; I was just worried about winning, Rose said. That call upset me. In the last timeout, I told my teammates not to be surprised with a three, but a three-and-one? Big Time founder Sonny Vaccaro called Rose one of the greats to ever play in the state of Illinois. He is going to be an All-American in college and an all-pro after that, Vaccaro said. He is the first kid this talented who everyone didn’t know about until recently. It hit at ABCD Camp with his quickness, explosiveness and his physique, and he only played one day because of an ankle sprain.

DECEMBER 24, 2006

Rose sits out Public League game

Simeon 62, Carver 38: The big news was that Derrick Rose was in street clothes nursing a sprained left ankle and didn’t play. He was injured at practice Friday when he stepped on center Tim Flowers’ foot. But the top-rated Wolverines (4-0, 2-0 Red South) had plenty in reserve as Bryant Orange scored 19, Brandon Hall 17 and Flowers 16 in a conference game that was moved to be a part of the event. I got a call from Derrick at 7 Saturday morning telling me he wanted to try and play, Simeon coach Robert Smith said. It’s about more than one game; it’s about his career and what is best for the team. When it happened, I had to stop practice because Tim was so upset and the rest of the team lost focus wondering if he was OK.

DECEMBER 29, 2006

Michael O’Brien on injured Rose leading Simeon at Pontiac

PONTIAC, Ill. — Derrick Rose wasn’t supposed to play against Jacksonville on Thursday in the opening round of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Rose injured his left ankle a week ago in practice and missed Simeon’s game Saturday against Carver. Coach Robert Smith expected Rose to sit out the first game at Pontiac as a precaution. But shortly before game time, Rose asked Smith if he could get his ankles taped and play. Much to the capacity crowd’s delight, Smith agreed. Rose had nine points and five assists as the top-ranked Wolverines beat Jacksonville 80-39. The outcome wasn’t the show, it was Rose, and he didn’t disappoint. He threw down a pair of dunks, including one with less than two minutes to play that inspired Jacksonville coach J.R. Dugan to view the game from a historical perspective. Fifteen years from now, these kids will be pointing at the television, telling their sons and daughters that they once played against Derrick Rose, Dugan said.

JANUARY 15, 2007

Rose’s ankles fail him in New York, Michael O’Brien writes

NEW YORK—Simeon All-American Derrick Rose and Madison Square Garden should have been a perfect match — the top-rated point guard in the country performing on the most prestigious basketball court in the world. But things didn’t go according to script on Sunday. Simeon lost 53-51 to Rice (N.Y.) in the Nike Super Six Invitational, and Rose found himself sitting courtside after the game, trying to figure out what exactly went wrong as a trainer untaped his often-injured ankles. I want the pressure from my teammates, Rose said. I’m supposed to lead them to the victory.

APRIL 20, 2007

In a diary for the Sun-Times, Rose talks about the knee-injury he suffered before the Michael Jordan all-star game in New York

Simeon’s Derrick Rose is writing a diary this week for the Sun-Times, detailing his time in New York City leading up to the Jordan Brand All-American Classic on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. We had to wake up super early today. They showed us clips of past guys who played in this. We then went to practice, where we scrimmaged. It was real competitive. Afterward, we had media day. It was crazy. The media bum-rushed us. They asked the same questions: Why didn’t you go to Illinois? I’m real sick of that question. What did you like about coach Calipari? Why didn’t you go to school with E.J. Eric Gordon? They let us order room service later, but it’s mostly nasty. I went to McDonald’s. Tonight, we had the dunk and three-point contest. I did not play because my knee was bothering me. I think it’s tendinitis. It’s been bothering me since the USA game. I probably need to get it checked out when I get back to Chicago.


APRIL 8, 2008

Rose, who battled tendinitis but didn’t miss a game at Memphis, suffers cramps and loses in the NCAA title game

Rose, whose calf cramped at the end of regulation, was stunned after losing what surely was his final college game. I knew it was going to be another war going into overtime. We just couldn’t get it done, he said. When we were at the line, we were trying to make them. I guess we didn’t do it. But it wasn’t the free throws. It was the Chalmers shot.

JULY 11, 2008

Rose suffers knee injury in Bulls’ summer league

Bulls guard Derrick Rose missed his second summer-league game in as many days because of an injured right knee as the Bulls lost to the New Jersey Nets 84-68 on Thursday in Orlando, Fla. Forward Demetris Nichols led the Bulls with 15 points. Cedric Simmons (10 points, six rebounds) was the only other Bulls player to score in double figures. The team shot 37.3 percent. Rose, the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, jammed his knee in a game Tuesday, the same knee that had tendinitis last season at Memphis. The Bulls (2-2) wrap up league play today against Oklahoma City.


OCTOBER 25, 2008

Rose injured early in his rookie season with Bulls

Add Derrick Rose to the Bulls’ walking wounded. Rose, the team’s top draft pick, left a 112-104 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the first quarter Friday. He strained his right hip and hamstring on an awkward fall after a hard foul by the Bucks’ Richard Jefferson. It’s nothing serious, Rose said. I could have gone back in, but they kept me out as a precaution. Rose had just dribbled by Dan Gadzuric on a fast-break layup attempt, but Jefferson banged Rose while the rookie point guard was in the air. Rose hit both free throws before leaving the game. My leg was caught behind me, and all my momentum was going forward, he said. I should be fine.

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