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It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Derrick Rose in his first season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but at least he’s willing to tackle some tough topics.
And at least Rose is back with the team — after taking some time away to supposedly think about quitting. The reason? Repeated injuries that have caused him to lose some explosiveness and consistency.
“I was just figuring things out, thinking about this and that, but I’m here for my team,” Rose told the media.
The latest pain is a bone spur in his ankle. He’s already missed about three weeks — and now, as Rose revealed to reporters Friday in Indiana, it may require surgery.
He addressed the team prior to Tuesday’s win over Sacramento, explaining his brief exile.
“I just told them that I apologize for my actions,” he said.
Rose also thanked the organization for “allowing me my privacy to keep my right state of mind.”
As for contemplating retirement, Rose decided to keep that information to himself.
“I don’t want to get into all that,” he said. “I’m here. … Just trying to get my ankle right. I got a bone spur. I didn’t tell anybody. I was just trying to process that.”
Rose, 29, has played in just seven of the Cavs’ 25 games. The 6-foot-3 point guard is averaging 14.3 points and 1.7 assists.
He indicated the reason he returned was for rehab and to show support for the Cavs, who are 18-7 and riding a 13-game win streak heading into Friday’s road game against the Pacers.
As for a possible return date, Rose offered no timetable. He said he is simply trying to focus on the here and now.
“I’m taking it one day at a time,” he said. “That’s all you can do, for your sanity. You’ll go crazy if you try to overthink it.”
Had Rose decided to call it quits, he would’ve walked away not just from the Cavs, but millions in endorsement money as well. The latter, he said, played no role in his decision to return.
“I don’t care about no (expletive) money,” he said. “It’s not about that. I got enough saved. If I wanted to leave, I would’ve just left.”
It remains to be seen what Rose’s role will be once he returns. Jose Calderon has been doing a solid job in his spot, and injured All-Star Isaiah Thomas is expected to make his Cleveland debut within the next several weeks.
“I’ll be able to hoop,” Rose said. “That’s all I want to do — hoop and win. This is a team and I want to be a part of it.”