Picture coach Tom Thibodeau, balled up in his bed with a pint of rocky road ice cream, watching his favorite romantic comedy.
Now permanently remove that terrible image from your head, it would never happen.
Coach Tom Thibodeau is not in the business of feeling sorry for himself.
Look, losing the Bulls’ Rose for the rest of the season to an ACL tear hurts. For many reasons. But like their coach, the remainder of this team is as tough as a turtle shell. NBA stands for No Babies Allowed in Chicago’s locker room.
As for the beloved DRose, he is in good hands.
The Tribune’s K.C. Johnson tweeted:
“Bulls say they will wait to finalize best medical plan for DRose. Team Doctor Brian Cole is possibility for surgery.”
Derrick Rose is young. He’s 23 years old. The many modern medical advancements being what they are, there is hope that he’ll return to his old form. It will take time, but it can be done. Rose is a worker.
For now, it’s time to turn the page. This is a Bulls team that went 18-9 without the reigning MVP. They didn’t just pick on slouch teams either. Wins against the Celtics, Hawks, Magic, 76ers and even the mighty Heat prove this team will not concede defeat in these playoffs.
Gar Forman, Joakim Noah and Thibodeau addressed the media on Sunday, with a very Remember the Titans feel to it.
From Thibs: “I think we all feel awful for him. Derrick’s not only a great player, he’s a great teammate… but it’s not a death sentence.”
Noah had similar sentiments: “We’re not going to let anybody paint the picture for us. Obviously it’s tough losing Derrick… but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Disney’s classic sports film, Coach Boone, played by Denzel Washington, responds at a press conference following a career ending injury to his best player, suffered in a car crash.
One scene in the movie clearly evokes the image of Thibs, when Coach Boone is talking with one of his assistants after the devastating accident.
“I’m hurting, just like you are coach but the season is not over yet. We did not come this far to just breakdown and lose now.”
Spoiler alert, Boone’s football team ended up overcoming all odds to win the school’s first state championship.
Understandably, an allusion to Hollywood might not be making you feel any better about the situation as it stands.
Think then, of the 2001 New England Patriots. All appeared lost when Pro-bowl quarterback Drew Bledsoe suffered a season ending injury late in the season. His replacement? A little known, former 6th round draft choice by the name of Tom Brady.
Still not doing anything for you?
Consider your very own Chicago Bulls archives. Michael Jordan’s legendary flu game, where he couldn’t even stand up on his way back to the bench. Scottie Pippen’s severely injured back. The fact that the team’s starting center was Luc Longley. Past Bulls teams have made a habit out of overcoming long odds to deliver in the biggest of moments.
Remember, the “leftovers” on this Bulls team are far from scrubs. Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Omer Asik and Taj Gibson make up the best frontline in the team’s history. Rip Hamilton is getting into his rhythm in the nick of time, flashing some of what made him an All-Star in Detroit during game 1. Everyone plays a role, the margin for error just happens to be smaller.
The backup point guard situation? Why it’s elementary, C.J Watson. The former Golden State Warrior is an excellent scorer and has proved on multiple occasions that he’s up for the challenge. Like when he stepped in for a struggling Rose and played terrifically against the Miami Heat in a huge game with home court ramifications. Watson hit the improbable shot that sent the game to overtime in a game the Bulls would eventually win. John Lucas figures to play a prominent role now. He’ll be ready.
Sharp shooter Kyle Korver may have said it best in a post written to fans:
“We are all gonna have to believe in ourselves. That we are more than the sum of our parts. We need YOU to believe with Us. We need You to believe for Us. We are going to keep going strong. One quarter, one game, one round at a time. Until its over. That’s how we’re gonna do it.”
It ain’t over yet.
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Photo via Wikimedia