With their best player in Derrick Rose unable to contribute to their playoff run after tearing his ACL, the Chicago Bulls will need an emotional boost if they want to reach their championship goals this season.
Getting past the Philadephia 76ers and either the Boston Celtics, or most likely, the Atlanta Hawks is still possible but the same can’t be said if it’s the Miami Heat who is waiting for them in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With that in mind, former Bull Scottie Pippen wrote a lengthy open letter to the team in light of the adversity their facing at this point.
Here’s some of it:
With what happened to Derrick in Game 1, it would be easy to hang your heads right now. You could lose sight of the ultimate goal and give up before the rest of the games have even been played. But I know that’s not even a consideration for this group. And that’s exactly why you’ll make me, Derrick, the organization, and the city of Chicago so proud.
To a man, it’s time for each of you to take a look in the mirror. Decide who you really are and what you represent as a basketball player. Reflect on what you have brought to the table for your team all season long and why you’re a valuable member of the Bulls. Because all of you have contributed to this team’s incredible success. Ask yourself what you can do for the team moving forward. Whether it’s through your verbal leadership or diving on the floor after a loose ball, it’s going to be all about grinding it out moving forward. If there is one piece of advice I can offer you, it’s to put every last ounce of effort you have out there to make everyone proud—Derrick, the fans, and first and foremost, yourself…..
As for Derrick, I truly believe he will come out of this better and stronger. If anything, it will be an eye opening experience for him. Remember, he’s still a very young player in this league. Now he knows that injuries are a part of the game. As a young player, I always thought I was doing everything I could. But the longer you play, the more you learn, and the better you’re prepared for what this game throws at you.
Just go out there and play hard. Play your best. Leave everything you’ve got on the floor. Yes, you lost one of your brothers—a warrior in every sense of the word—but I know and you know you’ve still got a lot of fight left. You’re still the best team in the NBA until an opponent proves otherwise. So go out there and play like it. You’ve earned that much with Derrick along the way, but you also won a lot of games without him. It’s time to meet the challenge.
Wishing you all the best of luck on a long postseason run.
It’s a nice gesture and all, but this letter won’t help the Bulls at all on the court. They’d better hope one of Dwyane Wade’s injuries flares up again.