While rehabbing his injured ACL, Derrick Rose continues to maintain a certain status in the Chicago area. I'm not talking about his superstar status, but rather his philanthropic status. Rose has a clear understanding of his place in the heart of the Windy City, and he doesn't want to let people down. Unlike players in the past - like Charles Barkley - who have shied away from the role model title - Rose is embracing it. And his injury won't stop that.
Rose gave an interview to ESPN's Rachel Nichols and talked about his place in Chicago's community.
“I know people in Chicago follow everything that I do,” said Rose to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “I try to stay clean, but I’m not perfect at all. I’m just like everyone else. But for these kids’ sake, I’m just going to try to stay positive.”It's a refreshing take from a superstar athlete, not that we have a shortage of those in the sport willing to give back. Players from Kobe Bryant to LeBron James are always giving back to the community, but at just 24 years old, it's nice to see Rose embracing his role - and understanding it. He could shatter his place in the community with one major misstep. He said he's not perfect, and he's not. But flaws are different than irreparable mistakes. Rose plans to avoid mistakes like that.
“I just try to be myself. I’m just a real person,” says Rose. “I’m someone that knows where I came from. No one in my neighborhood would ever be talking to you right now. I know that. I look at stuff different. I know where I could be.”Rose is the heart of the Chicago Bulls, but the team will have to play a large portion of the season without him. He is not expected to return until sometime next year - probably in February. Until then, the team hopes to stay afloat. The loss of Rose means the loss of an All-Star and the loss of 21.0 points per game. If the team can stay in the mix, and if Rose comes back healthy, they still have a shot to make an impact in the playoffs out of the Eastern Conference.
For now though, Rose will focus on recovery and focus on his city. And make no mistake, it is his city.