No more excuses. The time for Derrick Rose to stand up and come forward is right now.
That became self-evident Saturday night, when a Chicago Bulls team lacking its star player and worn weary by a season without him was utterly overwhelmed by the Brooklyn Nets, 106-89, in the opener of their seven-game series.
So much wrong with this Bulls team was on display. Head coach Tom Thibodeau's tendency to load his players with too minutes. The fact that 32-year-old Kirk Hinrich, who's filling in for Rose, is not nearly the answer. The injuries that have hampered their season, this time in the form of Joakim Noah playing only 13 minutes despite there being no other option for guarding Brook Lopez.
None of this is good. But all of that pales compared with the widening void Rose's absence - and the nature of it - has produced.
This is not to say Rose should or should not play. A torn ACL, the injury he sustained in the first game of the playoffs last season, is no small thing, even if it ...