AL HAMNIK: Derrick Rose's latest setback has Bulls' front office in a frenzy

2013-11-23T17:45:00Z 2013-12-07T14:29:04Z AL HAMNIK: Derrick Rose's latest setback has Bulls' front office in a frenzyAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
November 23, 2013 5:45 pm  • 

Valparaiso's Robbie Hummel plays professional basketball for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He is not Dr. Drew. He is not Dr. Oz.

There are no medical degrees on the walls of Hummel's apartment.

But there was Hummel on  Saturday afternoon, appearing on 670 The Score sports radio and being asked to comment on Derrick Rose's latest injury.

The Bulls' tough-luck superstar injured his right knee late in the third quarter of Friday night's loss at Portland. He had to be helped off the court, needed crutches to shower, and left the arena on crutches.

An MRI was scheduled Saturday and everyone feared the worst — a torn ACL. The kid is cursed, we all thought, after missing last season with a torn left ACL.

At 4:26 p.m. Saturday, the Bulls released the following statement: "Subsequent examinations and an MRI confirmed a medial meniscus tear to his right knee, which will require surgery. Rose is out indefinitely, and will not accompany the team on the rest of its current road trip."

I've had two meniscus tears, a year apart, and each required surgery and about six weeks of therapy.

I would say Rose has gotten a reprieve, considering the alternative.

Robbie Hummel found himself on the radio nearly three hours before Rose's MRI results were revealed. He had torn his two right ACLs while at Purdue, which makes him an authority, I guess, for talk radio.

"It's not what I wanted to be remembered for," Hummel  told me. "I was on some stations the first time it happened to Derrick, as well.

"Maybe it's because I'm from the (Chicagoland) area."

The panic sweeping through the Bulls organization has dissipated a bit with the meniscus news, but this wasn't a very good team to begin with and Rose's game still lacked consistency.

When he returns, his game will be average at best.

There is no "star" out there who can save you at the trade deadline, so blow this team up. Start collecting high draft picks.

Trade Luol Deng while you can still get something for him. Unload Joakim Noah, an injury waiting to happen and whose game is one-dimensional. Throw in offensively-challenged Taj Gibson as well.

There will be obstacles, of course.

Tom Thibodeau, a proud perfectionist, won't want to coach "bad." And fans won't want to take out a second mortgage to see "bad" play, so now the entire operation is in a tailspin.

Other than Miami, Indiana and maybe Atlanta, the Eastern Conference is a simmering dumpster fire. Without Rose, the Bulls would still make the playoffs, but have a short stay.

The Bulls can't wait another year for Derrick Rose, their $100 million investment, to heal entirely while their older players lose trade value. And if he does return, how about his emotional state?

"When (the injury) is non-contact, that's scary," said Hummel, who required a combined 14 months of rehab at Purdue. "I definitely questioned whether I'd be good anymore. I remember shooting around and saying 'God, I don't have anything left in my legs.'"

Derrick Rose told us many times that growing up on the crime-ridden streets of Englewood made him tough, made him hungry to succeed.

We'll see how tough the kid is now.

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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