When Derrick Rose went down with a torn meniscus in his right knee, it was undoubtedly a sad occurrence. The kid had worked so hard to come back after injuring his left ACL and one couldn’t help but feel gutted for him as he faced another long road to recovery. As a fan of the NBA for over 25 years I’ve seen a lot of players battle injuries and I must say the reaction to Rose’s second knee injury from some fans has been eye-opening to say the least.
Fans, journalists and peers alike have all expressed support to Rose as he embarks on a second long and painful rehabilitation in as many years.
The genuine yet predictable “Pray for D-Rose” posts are what they are. They are posted by people of all faiths, regardless of how often they mention “praying” in regular day-to-day conversation. The NBA’s inner circle of players and coaches can be heard/seen regularly referring to their faith on social media platforms. When it comes to fans, these posts can be interpreted a number of different ways from actually praying to one’s chosen God for positivity all the way to, for all intents and purposes, re-wording “Hey Derrick, I’m thinking of ya, buddy”.
To be clear I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with this type of positivity. We as a sporting public have unprecedented access to athletes these days and showing our support (or making a negative point) via social media is now akin to cheering for or booing them at a game.
Over the week or so since Rose went down though, the messages of support have started to blend into what can only be described as some form of depressive daily diary. Bulls fans across all social media platforms are littering their respective timelines with posts that would have you think that they in fact are the ones nursing the injury. The amount of emotion being shown is extreme and seemingly amplified for Rose when comparing to fan reactions seen with other injured players such as Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook or Danny Granger.
Do these reactions say more about the player and person Derrick Rose is? Or more about how emotionally unstable some Chicago Bulls fans have become, having experienced such a roller-coaster past 20 years? The highs of the Jordan/Pippen/Jackson era and the lows of practically every other “era” pre-2008 have seemingly taken their toll.
I’ll stop (just) short of saying that some fan behaviour has been embarrassing over the past week but it sure does make me wonder where this emotion comes from. No other player that I can remember has prompted a similar outcry. In fairness, I suppose not many players have experienced two similar injuries in such a short space of time either.
Are Bulls fans just super emotional? Or is Derrick Rose just the most likeable player in the history of the NBA?
There’s no denying that Rose is likeable. Whether it be for his explosive style of play or the humble and respectful approach he takes both on and off the court … Basketball fans understand that he’s likeable.
I too like Rose and hope he comes back able to stay healthy and competitive. I hope this as a basketball fan first and foremost, while I also admire the guy that Derrick seems to be, from a distance.