The 2012-2013 NBA season is over and there is a lot to look back on from this past year. With so many different high and low points throughout the year, classifying the top five stories of the season is a difficult task. Looking back over the season, the fifth biggest story of the year was the return of Chicago Bulls star and former Most Valuable Player, Derrick Rose. Well, the lacks there of when it comes to his return.
Chicago Bulls fans don’t need the reminder. First game of the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Bulls are leading the Philadelphia 76ers by 12 points with less than two minutes left in the game. The Bulls would win the game but lose the battle as Rose would suffer an ACL tear in his left knee. A series injury no matter what sport is played, the resulting surgery and recovery would expect Rose to be out for the next 8-12 months. That part of the story is straight forward and easy to understand, but unfortunately for Rose it doesn’t end there.
Coming into this season the expectations were all over the map for the Chicago Bulls as a team. Without their superstar point guard there were questions surrounding how far the unit would be able to go. Still, the team would find a way to rally around players such as Nate Robinson, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng who would have standout years in their effort to keep Chicago relevant in the Eastern Conference. All the while Rose would stay on the sideline supporting his team from the bench as video montages from ADIDAS would promote his eventual return.
The controversy would begin when Rose would return to full practices in January, but still would not play alongside his teammates. Critics would point to individuals such as Iman Shumpert who suffered a similar injury at the same point or even the unfair comparison to Adrian Peterson in the National Football League as reasons to why Rose should be back on the court. Still, his teammates would come to his side when posed with questions as why the former MVP hasn’t returned to the court and their feelings about the situation.
As the playoffs rolled around the voices of disdain would become louder as anticipation for Rose’s return during the post season grew. The Bulls found a way to make it past the Brooklyn Nets and into the second round where they would be stopped by the eventual champion Miami Heat.
Anger from fans came down on Rose who stayed relatively mum on the controversy that surrounded him sitting out the entire season. As this year is over and the anticipation for the 2013-2014 season has already begun, the pressure for Derrick Rose to return to his MVP form is mounting. Some fans feel like he owes them an apology while others understand him taking the time to protect his long term career. Either way, this was the story to watch from this past year and is already shaping up as something to pay attention to for the next year.