Derrick Rose played it safe following his ACL surgery in 2012 by rehabbing all of last season to make sure he came back to the Chicago Bulls this fall in the best shape possible.
The decision was a controversial one, largely because his team is a top contender when he’s in the lineup, and doctors had cleared him to play at the time of last year’s playoffs.
But according to one NBA superstar, Rose made a smart choice.
“It was really good for [Rose] to take the whole year off,” Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant recently told CSN Chicago. “… A lot of people criticized him for it and were really upset about him not playing, but it was the best thing for him. I can tell, because he looks better.”
A better D-Rose would be a frightening situation for opposing teams and coaches. Before his knee surgery, the 2010-11 league MVP was one of the most difficult players to guard because of his super-effective crossover, quick first step and ability to penetrate defenses and score at the rim. The former Memphis star’s outside shooting has also improved since his rookie year.
If Rose is able to remain healthy for the entirety of the upcoming season, Chicago will be one of the top contenders to overtake the Miami Heat as NBA champions. Even without their starting point guard last season, the Bulls finished with a respectable 45-37 record and the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Chicago opens the regular season in Miami on Oct. 29.