Considering the grim road ahead and unfair burden shouldered by Bulls PG Derrick Rose, Sports On Earth’s Tomas Rios has harsh words for Chicago’s “incompetent medical staff” and head coach Tom Thibodeau’s “borderline sadistic player management policies”. Rios’ most pointed criticisms, however, are spared for WSCR’s Dan Bernstein and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Gone for yet another season due to his existentially string-cheese knees, Rose, 25, is now fair-game for huckster columnists looking to play the Black Guy Is Not Humble game. Beyond an imagined humility deficiency, Dan Bernstein’s burning strawman fallacy takes cheap hits on Rose’s intelligence, diction, maturity and greed. We’ve heard this bit from white columnists criticizing black athletes more times than anyone could ever count. The impetus for this rhetorical bounty came about due to rumors that Rose is concerned about the team’s direction, which explains why Bernstein’s critiques focus on perception rather than fact. Here’s the uncomfortable truth: Rose should want out of Chicago.
Playing for a team owned by Jerry Reinsdorf isn’t helping any. Last season, the Bulls paid the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history and only did so because Rose’s torn ACL made signing Kirk Hinrich a necessity. This despite the team recently posting a five-year average annual profit of $55 million that makes them by far the league’s most profitable franchise.
While Reinsdorf has repeatedly said that he would be willing to pay the luxury tax for a “winner,” this is in direct contradiction to the fact that the team’s marquee free-agent signing in the Rose era was Carlos Boozer’s five-year, $80 million albatross of a contract. That deal that has served mostly to hamper Taj Gibson’s development. Gibson is posting better per-36 numbers than Boozer this season and is far better suited to the Bulls’ style of play. More importantly, the Bulls were gifted a franchise player in Rose and have failed to acquire or develop a secondary scorer capable of complementing him. Reinsdorf demanding a “winner” as a condition to paying the luxury tax is simply a convenient PR device meant to distract from the fact that paying the luxury tax is now all but a precondition to winning a title. It’s Reinsdorf’s money to spend as he sees fit, but his choices have consequences. For example, a presumptive franchise player being leery about a bargain-basement rebuilding project.