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Bulls Wed Feb 13 2013

Rose's State of the Union

Bulls_200.pngIn the Chicago Twitterverse, the only speech that got more coverage than President Obama's State of the Union address was Derrick Rose's very own impassioned declaration to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110% healthy," Rose said in the piece, which was full of calculated candor.

Rose may sit out the season, and it's beginning to make Bulls fans think that they may be "stuck" with this fourth place team that's had an awful 2-4 record in the month of February. The mood in the Bulls milieu is almost as bleak as when Rose's tore his ACL in the first place.

Last week, reports confirmed that talks between the Bulls and Raptors had the teams swapping prodigal sons Carlos Boozer and Andrea Bargnani. Some argued the trade would be great for the Bulls because Bargnani could help the Bulls improve on their 34% three-point shooting, in addition to having a nice pick-and-roll piece for Rose. Others claimed Bargnani plays even less defense and doesn't rebound as frequently as Boozer does, which is a strength against teams like the Miami Heat and New York Knicks. One thing everyone could agree on, this trade, and possibly the season, is moot if the Bulls don't get Rose back.

Every piece you've read about the team, any podcast listened to at work, or bar conversation you've had all could conclude with, "Let's wait and see until Rose comes back." As team supporters we've been in a holding pattern of holding our breath and biting our tongues. Though Rose's speech was a bit less optimistic in the short term than President Obama's, it's a first hand source telling us to let Rose focus on regaining full capabilities with his knee and keep playing and planning on being without him. The expectations and pressure everyone puts on Rose will do nothing but put him at risk in the long term if he succumbs to chatter.

Let's all take a Tom Thibodeau approach to this team and less of a Gar Forman one. Shine the spotlight on that night's opponent and not look to the horizon. Rose's are red, and all news of his return should be white noise. Bulls fans have a chance to root for two All-Stars this Sunday. Most fanbases haven't had an All-Star in years. The weekend break isn't just for the players, it's for you the fans who, like myself, are exhausted from the first half's big wins against good teams, bad losses to worse teams, beat reporters re-tweets, Nate Robinson's instagrams, Rip Hamilton's rapid decline, Marco Belinelli's everything, and questions of can this team win in May, possibly June. And potentially do it all without Derrick Rose.

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