The NBA preseason is almost over, and the Chicago Bulls enter the 2012-2013 NBA season with much lower expectations than in the previous season, knowing that they won’t have Derrick Rose for more than half a season. What’s their big star doing in the meantime? Rehabbing, and giving back to kids from neighborhoods like the one he grew up in.
It’s not easy for Rose at the moment. Not a man who really loves media attention, but is thrust into it because of his talents and his quick rise with the Chicago Bulls. Rookie of the year, star, MVP, and now someone trying to make a comeback that will put him right back on the horse. Adidas are cultivating his brand by keeping a close eye on his return.
For Rose, born and raised in Englewood, not one of Chicago’s safest neighborhoods, it’s about being an influential figure for young people in a difficult time for the city, as homicide rates skyrocketed over the last year and especially this recent summer. It’s hard for him knowing that he and others are missing out because he’s out of the spotlight.
It’s definitely hard not being out on the court, but I’m just making sure that people see me, see what I’m doing. I know people in Chicago follow everything I do. Like I said, just try to stay strong. I’m not perfect at all just like everyone else. But for these kids I’m just going to try to stay positive.
It’s a different era where respect … I know in Chicago it’s a different world, for real, where respect is out the window. If you get someone to respect you that’s a lot now in Chicago, especially when you’re talking about kids from the age of 13 to 17. I know I’m going to try my hardest to, no matter what it is, me working hard, me writing stuff on Twitter or whatever, I’m just going to try to be positive.
The return also serves as an inspiration to others. Making it back from a serious injury. A lot of players have comeback from ACL and MCL tears, but few were as good as they were before. Few were high-profile players, great players like Rose was before he was injured, and hopefully will be once he returns to the courts. Making his comeback attempt such a viral event serves as inspiration as well, while keeping the value of the brand high as possible. This is business after all.
But Rose, despite playing in his home city, is far away, at least in everyday life, from the troubles of his youth. Hardships, luckily for him, financial ones, are a thing of the past. For him, and his family. My Son won’t have to worry about finding something to eat. I try to break everything as plain as possible. He won’t have to find anything to eat, and that’s something I had to do when I was younger. I think that’s a great start.