In the 1993 movie Rookie of the Year, a kid breaks his arm playing baseball and has to have it put in a cast. When the cast is removed, it is discovered the tendons healed tighter than expected and because of that the 12-year old can suddenly throw a Major League fastball. The boy is signed by the Cubs. Pure fantasy. Yet, today in Chicago there's talk of some better than expected healing for one of the city's basketball stars.
Derick Rose missed 18 months of action after tearing his ACL during a playoff game against the 76ers in April of 2012. Many are wondering if he will be fully healed for the start of this season. If one believes Rose, he's fully healed and then some. After Wednesday night's preseason game at the United Center, a contest which featured Rose slicing and dicing to the hole circa 2011, the Bulls point guard delivered some unexpected news.
Rose said since going under the knife, his vertical leap has improved from 37 inches to 42 inches. He claims to be good mentally too, not worried about his health. If the game against the Pistons Wednesday is any indication, one has to believe him. While the former MVP hasn't unveiled his improved leaping ability just yet, he did show a packed Madhouse on Madison that he isn't afraid to mix it up in the lane like he always has.
The crowd held its collective breath multiple times as Rose hit the deck again and again. He hit from downtown. He broke out a hellish crossover. D-Rose looked like D-Rose.
The man has always sacrificed his body. Because that body is substantially smaller than that of a LeBron James or Kevin Durant, for example, Rose often takes more of a toll when his rough style is in full effect. It's kind of like Pedro Martinez in a way. The pitcher retired earlier than big, brawny guys like Roger Clemens because Martinez simply ran out of gas. His small frame had enough. Just like Pedro, Rose may not last as long as some of the NBA's giants, but while he is there he's as dangerous as anyone.
In Rookie of the Year, little Henry Rowengartner helps a struggling Cubs team draw more fans and win more games. Now, Rose, the 2009 NBA Rookie of the Year, will look to use his newfound health and apparent improved leaping ability to try to jump over the mighty Heat in the Eastern Conference. The only difference is this is real life. Oh, and unlike the film, Gary Busey isn't involved.