'It felt like a funeral'

Sunday marks the one-year anniversary that the Bulls franchise was set back at least a year with Derrick Rose's ACL tear in his left knee. Rose suffered through the lockout-shortened season with a string of injuries that ended with one of the more devastating things that can happen to an athlete.

Bulls fans may remember what the day was like, April 28, 2012, in Chicago: Cold, damp with overcast skies. With the city feeling like the team was on a collision course in the Eastern Conference finals with Miami, nobody could've imagined how the weather that day would be symbolic for the Bulls.

"Everybody was down," Jimmy Butler said of the team's feeling after Rose's injury. "To see your leader go down like that, it's just tough. Derrick is someone who wants to do great things for himself and the city, his city – this is where he was born and raised – and for him to get hurt like that, it was hard."

As he lay on the floor, grimacing in pain after making a move he's made probably a thousand times, dead silence fell over the United Center.

"It felt like a funeral," Butler said. "You just know that when a guy has to leave the floor like that and then to go back in the locker room and see the look on his face, it was tough because you knew it was bad. Here's a guy that's so talented offensively and the way he gets the crowd into the game by the way he plays, you knew that was going to be missing."

"To me, when I look back at Derrick's situation and what happened last year, I feel like it's just really sad," said Joakim Noah, who is dealing with his own injury this season, plantar fasciitis in his foot. "He's somebody who is just so important to this franchise and to this city. When I first came here, we were really struggling. And then he comes in here and just changes the whole mindset of what Chicago Bulls basketball is all about."

Rose's injury has now caused him to miss the entire regular season due to his choice to take his time rehabbing instead of rushing back on the court. As such, the former MVP has received a ton of backlash and criticism. Joakim Noah takes exception to that.

"It's really sad how judgmental people are," Noah said. "If he feels like he's not ready [to play], people have to respect that. I have his back 150 percent and just to see how quick people are to judge him, it's crazy. People want him out there for their own selfish reasons. And I mean, he's dealing with this better than anyone I've ever seen, but I know the criticism isn't easy for him."

Bryan Crawford is a RedEye special contributor.



April 28, 2012: Tears his ACL versus Philadelphia in the playoffs.

May 12: Undergoes surgery to repair his knee.

Nov. 12: Begins making cuts in practice.

Dec. 28: Returns to noncontact practices.

Jan. 9: Begins dunking and handling “predictable contact” in practice.

March 8: Dr. Brian Cole, who performed Rose’s surgery, medically clears Rose to play.

March 10: Rose says his hamstrings are “on fire” after workouts.

April 7: Rose says he won’t rule out playing during Bulls’ postseason.

April 20: Coach Tom Thibodeau says Rose is “most likely out” for postseason.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • They'll take it: Bulls up 2-1 on Nets
    They'll take it: Bulls up 2-1 on Nets

    Even with the Bulls and Brooklyn playing Game 3 of their playoff series Thursday, we had football and on the brain. Maybe it's because the Bulls have been black and blue all season, or because Mel Kiper's hair helmet is unavoidable. Whatever the case, we turned our NFL Draft goggles toward...

  • Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
    Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge

    An argument over a woman led to one man being killed and another wounded during a shooting inside a South Loop music lounge early Saturday, police said.

  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Construction ongoing at Wrigley Field
    Construction ongoing at Wrigley Field

    From bleachers to structural details, work to renovate Wrigley Field continues.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.