Chicago Bulls: Down But Not Out

The state of mourning continues for many Bulls fans as they try to gather themselves after losing Derrick Rose for a second time to injury. And if we are being honest, it is okay to feel this way. As a reeling fan, you are allowed to think what you want. You are allowed to panic, you are allowed to dig the grave for your Chicago Bulls, you are allowed to scream “TANK” and plot ways to land Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins in the draft. But for those who believe in this team, Coach Thibodeau and dare I say…Derrick Rose, then I hope to be the most vocal of the minority who still believes.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”  Words by Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen, and more importantly words by a powerful leader. It just so happens that while everyone has their eyes on the Bulls’ wounded on court leader, they seem to have forgotten about the mastermind that has led to the success of this franchise within the last three years. His patented phrase, “We have more than enough to win” showcases the conviction Muhammad Ali’s words described. That seven-word mantra coach Thibodeau uses, contains seven words that resonate through an entire locker room. Those words travel to every tape recorder, to every video camera, through every single channel on the television and every article on the Internet. Those seven words speak volumes; they show that Tom Thibodeau will never back down from his stance of pure belief in his men.

Ironically this article is not meant to simply praise coach Thibs or tell the Chicago fan base to not quit. There is a quiet confidence in this Chicago Bulls team, a quiet confidence that showcases hope and inspires a fan like myself to believe that maybe it’s not over like we all believed it was…maybe we will see the Red Knight rise again…this season.

If you stayed with me past that seemingly ludicrous statement, I’m glad you stayed, because maybe just maybe I won’t be the vocal minority who believes anymore, maybe this is the start of the vocal majority of fans who believe this season is not lost and that we may see #1 make noise sooner than we expect.

K.C. Johnson reported that Derrick Rose would stay around the Chicago Bulls and travel on the road with the team for most of his rehabilitation from a torn meniscus in his right knee. While it seems to be a small victory to see the team’s leader on the sideline it must be noted that Rose did not travel with the Bulls early in his recovery from a torn ACL last season and he rarely sat on the bench until the postseason.

The Bulls finally learned from the mess their PR team created last season, Derrick Rose’s circle did not help the cause either, but it can be said with a fair amount of certainty both sides learned lessons from last year; hence the immediate ruling of Derrick out for the season. It’s truly a perfect storm, rule Derrick out and if he comes back he is a hero and not the villain the media circus created last season. Russell Westbrook is a prime example to maintain hope. Yes, he had a different meniscus injury but the rehab process was just as lengthy and he returned a month and a half before expected, even after a setback.

4 months. Let’s acknowledge that this is not an ACL tear, is it serious? Yes. But 4 months, that gives the Windy City Assassin maybe 10 or so games to warm up, in a weak Eastern conference this Bulls team could be anywhere from 4th to 8th. The Bulls did it right, they ruled him out, the fan base either witnesses a heroic comeback or continue on with news they heard in late November.

If this team does not get blown up for draft picks, which the organization has given no indication of doing, expect them to battle every single night. Noah, Deng, Butler and everyone else on this team has let the league know they are not slouches. Tom Thibodeau refuses to accept anything below 100%. This team can make noise again and if you do not believe that, Derrick Rose said it best “you can be a fool if you want to”.  Derrick Rose will rise again. The Chicago Bulls will continue to be a threat. See Red.



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