AL HAMNIK: Bulls becoming hamburger to NBA's steak

2013-12-17T17:30:00Z 2014-01-25T22:46:11Z AL HAMNIK: Bulls becoming hamburger to NBA's steakAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
December 17, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Derrick Rose is like the guy who complains about reckless teenage drivers, then speeds through his neighborhood with children everywhere.

You can't have it both ways, pal.

As the Bulls struggle mightily to contend with Rose sidelined by a second knee surgery — they're 3-10 without him — there are reports surfacing that he is worried the team will undergo a major overhaul he wants no part of.

Rose "confidants" say he is fearful that the days of veterans Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer are numbered, not that either has helped soften the sting of a 9-14 record.

Monday night's heartbreaking 83-82 loss to the lowly Orlando Magic followed a Saturday story in the New York Daily News regarding Rose's winter of discontent.

We're once again being subjected to the whining from Rose's camp, which has become dreadfully boring and could harm his Chicago street-tough image.

Rose should keep his mouth shut, continue his rehab and understand one indisputable truth: The Bulls are going nowhere with this roster once he does return.

And it's his fault to a large degree.

Derrick Rose refuses to "recruit" talent, to call other big-name free agents around the league and try luring them to Chicago.

The Miami Heat's Dywane Wade did it and won two straight NBA titles. The San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker has done it several times, ditto for the Indiana Pacers' Paul George and Houston Rockets' James Harden.

So what's Rose's problem? Good question.

This is Chicago we're talking about, not Rockford or Blue Island.

Rose met the media Dec. 5 for the first time since the season-ending second surgery and wouldn't budge on his recruiting stand. That raised several eyebrows in the United Center press room.

Given the Bulls' current state, we had hoped he would have put his team first. We were wrong, again.

"I don't think I'll ever recruit," Rose said. "If you're a hooper and you know as a basketball player if you can play with someone, I don't think it's a problem with just coming to a team.

"I'll play with anyone. And I think I can play with anyone. But I'll never recruit."

OK, then quit moaning about the future and your Bulls having to rebuild, which they will.

Go ahead and be the villain. The role seems to fit.

Frustrated coach Tom Thibodeau must somehow keep a struggling team together with Duct tape and a prayer; a team that had its run but has become quite average.

The man seldom smiles and has no reason to now.

"We've got to fight. That's what we all gotta do," he said. "Everyone has to understand what their job is."

Added top reserve Mike Dunleavy: "It's not pretty. We are battling, we are trying, we just keep coming up short."

Dunleavy said the Bulls won't quit and we know that. Too much pride. But it's looking bleak for this roster.

Hamburger never tastes as good as steak.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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