I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but it wasn’t until Bulls’ guard Derrick Rose tore his ACL in game one of the first round NBA playoff series vs. the 76ers. A lot of people – well, like everyone - bashes on the one-and-done policy made famous by John Calipari and his diaper dandies.
Somehow Calipari fields a winning team each year after using his top three players on average from the previous year. We wont get into how he does it, having forfeited wins and a Final Four appearance at Memphis. I digress.
Derrick Rose may be the best example there is in basketball of how a one-and-done was a good thing. Not because he was the youngest NBA MVP. Not because he’s one of the best point guards in the league. Not because coming out there year the Bulls, his hometown team, had a top pick to nab him. Not because he made it all the way to the title game in college and didn’t feel like he had more to accomplish.
No. It’s not what you think.
The reason he’s such a great example of the whole one-and-done thing working out is because of his ACL. There, I said it. I don’t know if anyone has tallied the numbers, but had Derrick Rose graduated from Memphis (because, say, that was still the nature of college basketball. Go education!) this would be his rookie year.
So what? Well, look at his year this year. Now nobody can say that had he stayed in school all the way, this been his rookie year that all of what happened this year would still have happened. However, Rose would have had a terrible rookie year – one that typically comes close to ending an NBA rookie’s progress let alone career.
Rose has had all sorts of injury problems this year, culminating in a torn ACL in the first game of the playoffs. Rose only played in 39 games this season. His previous career low was double that (78). Yes, Rose still had over 20 points, but had he been a rookie he may not have seen the early time that got him those stats.
It’s a weird thing to try to make a positive out of such a negative, but it’s worth noting. Rose made a good decision coming out early and becoming a great point guard the way he did. Because of it, Rose will be the subject of a lot of preseason Bulls’ chatter because they know they need him back.
Had he been a rookie this year, Rose may have been an after thought no matter how high a pick he would’ve been in the draft.