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Time to pull the plug on Derrick Rose for this season?

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Updated: March 28, 2013 11:52AM



After months and months of mind-numbing non-updates, we finally received some credible information about Derrick Rose’s status Tuesday, with rapper Waka Flocka Flame announcing that Rose would make his long-awaited return Wednesday night against the Heat.

When the definitive history of journalism is written, Flame will get his own chapter, thanks to his Watergate reporting.

But Rose did not play against Miami, making it like all the other days he didn’t play this season.

Wednesday told us in no uncertain terms that it’s time to end this circus. When we have to listen even a little bit to the man who gave us the lyric, “Alwayz missin breakfast, eatin on sum cereal,’’ it’s time.

Time for Rose to say once and for all that he’s not playing this season. Time for the Bulls to shut him down.

Rose said Wednesday that his return is “in God’s hands,’’ but sources tell me that God is bone- tired of the will-he-won’t-he tease. God wants Rose physically and mentally ready for next season. God also said he loved “Waka Flocka and the Chocolate Factory.’’

The Bulls shocked the Heat 101-97 Wednesday, ending Miami’s 27-game winning streak. With the clock winding down, the United Center crowd chanted, “End of streak, end of streak.’’

It was quite an effort from a bruised, strained, beaten-up team.

“Coming down the stretch, we just want to be playing as good as we can, so this was a very good step,’’ guard Kirk Hinrich said.

You can bet the spirited effort against Miami will set off another frenzy around the city: Imagine the damage the Bulls could do in the playoffs if Rose came back now!

I just did. Not much.

There’s no point now in Rose’s return, not with 12 games left in the season. There’s very little upside for him or the Bulls in his coming back. Do you really want him taking baby steps from reconstructive knee surgery during the playoffs, when the energy level is ratcheted up? The Bulls gave him a five-year, $95 million contract with the idea of a long career, not with the idea of a rush job.

When doctors said Rose’s rehab could last anywhere from eight to 12 months, it was as if no one in Chicago heard the “12’’ part. The public expectation seemed to be that he would be back in February or early March, which is why coach Tom Thibodeau has had to answer questions about Rose’s status almost every day. Three times now, Rose has said he might not play this season. No one seemed to want to listen.

The uncertainty of the last few months has allowed people to question Rose’s courage. What amazing powers of insight they have. If you’ve suffered a torn ACL and you’re not scared, there’s something wrong with you. If you saw the way Rose attacked the rim when he was healthy, you know courage is not the issue.

But some of this falls on Rose and his advisers. They have done a very poor job of handling the situation. In hindsight, the better approach would have been to say that he wasn’t coming back this season. There wouldn’t have been all the questions and all the raised hopes. And if he had come back, so what?

Instead, there has been a torturous drip, drip, drip of little to no news. Any person passing through Chicago who has ever had a knee injury has been asked about what Rose is going through, his rehab and his mind-set. Football players, hockey players, visiting dignitaries — everyone with an opinion has been asked to share it. What does the new pope know about knee injuries? We’ll get on it.

The Rose story has hijacked this season. It’s no coincidence that the Bulls have gone through their worst stretch while the Rose soap opera was going full steam.

Bulls fans are restless, but for what, I’m not sure. Injuries have taken such a toll that it’s hard to see the team advancing in the postseason. When the Bulls took the floor Wednesday, they were without Joakim Noah, Marco Belinelli and Richard Hamilton. Oh, and that Rose fellow, too. It was Derrick Rose bobblehead night, however.

“Every day I’m just waking up to try and be the best player, try and produce every time I step on the court, just try and get better as a player, and who knows when?’’ Rose said Wednesday morning.

When? How about next season?



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