Quit dumping your vitriol on Derrick Rose, OK?
I feel your anger and disgust with him, his family, the Bulls organization and anyone else associated with this year-long tease.
But you're wasting your breath. And you know it.
Rose deserves to feel the wrath of fans locally and nationally. This we agree on.
It's been more than a year since his ACL surgery. Team doctors gave him a medical release three months ago. He does full-contact practices, shooting drills before games, and is the healthiest Bull entering these Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat.
But he's "not there yet" as far as actually playing.
We've been hearing that for weeks from Rose himself, from older brother Reggie, his mouthpiece, and from coach Tom Thibodeau who has shown remarkable patience and restraint dealing with his young superstar.
We've written about this, debated this, called Rose emotionally "soft," scolded him for sitting on the bench while teammates battle despite sickness and injury.
He's not coming back, do you understand? Not now, not against the NBA's best team that would eat him alive.
Derrick Rose has become an obnoxious tease, too dense to realize he's taking the spotlight away from teammates who are the true heroes this season.
The organization has had its hands tied during this shameful sham, being made to jump when Rose's "people" say jump.
The Bulls' front office is not happy about having to play along. But we've written that, debated that, to the point of boredom. And this is why fans must focus exclusively on the team.
They matter. Derrick Rose no longer matters.
Had he played against the world champion Heat, the Bulls might be slight favorites. Without a healthy Luol Deng or Kirk Hinrich, they have little or no chance.
To save face and appease fans, Rose and his peeps should have scheduled a news conference weeks ago announcing he would NOT return until next season. We could've closed the book on that chapter and moved on.
Instead, we have fans saying they won't forget or forgive Rose's selfishness and refusal to help his team, even when he takes the court again. Some claim they've lost respect for him as a person.
Who's fooling who?
The moment Derrick Rose is in uniform again and the games count, fans will once again be giddy with delight.
And if he scores 25 or 30 points a game, he will become mayoral material in Chicago.
That's all fans really care about -- winning. They loathed Dennis Rodman until he slipped on that No. 91 jersey and helped Chicago win two NBA titles.
Rose will feel that same love when he returns.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at email@example.com.