It seems as if Derrick Rose has been battling injuries since he entered the NBA. Now it seems he may be tired of fighting the war against his body.
The current Cleveland Cavalier and former league MVP has reportedly taken a leave of absence from the team to contemplate his future in the league and possible retirement. At age 29, Rose is far from a grizzled veteran who should even be close to walking away from the Association. But considering the amount of injuries Rose has sustained since starting his career with the Chicago Bulls, the point guard has more miles on his body than most players his age. A lingering ankle injury that has sidelined him for the past month is scheduled to keep him out another two weeks. Rather than battle back, Rose is considering retiring for good. Should he? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate this question.
Riley: Rose hasn’t been the same player following a rash of injuries—every time he recovers from one injury, he sustains another. Some players just don’t have the body to sustain a long career in the league. The same thing has happened to several great players: Grant Hill, Anfernee Hardaway and Brandon Roy are among the recent stars who couldn’t get their body to cooperate. Rose will never recapture the explosive magic that he once possessed and he may have already mentally checked out of the rigors of the NBA.
Green: Rose may not be the same athlete, but he’s still been pretty good. He’s averaging almost 14 points per night as a Cavalier in only 26 minutes per game. He can still play. The ankle injury has been frustrating, but Rose can still play at a higher level than the average NBA hooper. At 29 and still effective, there’s still tread left on Rose’s tires.
Riley: Being able to play physically is one thing, but being mentally capable is another thing. The injuries which have sabotaged Rose’s career are a league-wide story that saddens anybody who knows it. Playing with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade probably puts things into perspective for Rose, being sandwiched between two players who absolutely love basketball. Rose is fighting two battles right now, one with his body and one with his commitment to enduring the pain that it takes to keep playing. With no title in his pocket and looking back on a career that should have netted more accomplishments, it might not be worth it at this point for Rose to continue.
Green: If he’s committed, he has as good a chance as anyone to win a title and push his name back into the superstar tier where it belongs. It just depends on him. He can still play and be effective for a contender. Playing with Cleveland almost gives him a free pass to the Finals. It’s there if he wants it, but by no means should he retire. An ankle injury isn’t the same as the ACL and knee tears that he’s battled in the past. If he can return from this latest setback then he’ll be playing in the Finals. That alone should be enough motivation to keep him running.