Rose and Lebron: The Return of the Prodigal Sons

Posted by Richard Kagan on Thursday, October 23, 2014 with No comments
LeBron James stunned the sports world when he announced he was "coming home" to Ohio and to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers once more.  Home for James is Akron Ohio, only a 45 minute trek from Cleveland.  Derrick Rose, the oft injured star guard for the Chicago Bulls, is finally making his first game as a member of the Bulls since last November.  These two great players will clash when Cleveland visits the United Center next Friday night, October 31.  And that's just game two for both teams.  Both men have gone through a great deal to get to this game.

Rose, suffered a torn meniscus in his good knee, the other had gone under the knife for ACL surgery 18 months prior.  He missed the season and his teammates were rocked.  Then they found themselves and went on to become one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference.  They lacked scoring. And looked tired in losing to the Washington Wizards during the 2014 NBA Playoffs.  When free-agency came they wooed Carmelo Anthony with a presentation and dollars.  In the end, the dollars weren't enough for Anthony, who re-signed with the New York Knicks for $24+ million per year.

The Anthony drama pales in comparison to Lebron's move to Cleveland.  No one knew this was brewing until the deal was done. In a moment, the balance of power shifted from Miami to Cleveland. As it stands, who can compete with James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, acquired over the summer?

Possibly, the Bulls. They increased their offense dramatically with the signing of Pau Gasol, a versatile player who's been a two-time winner through the playoffs wars.  Nikola Mirotic, a big sharpshooter who can get you points.  Don't forget Doug McDermott, the rookie from Creighton who was one of top scorers in college.  Then, there's Rose.  He has weathered many tests to get to this game. He grew up on Chicago's South Side in Englewood, a section where you need to heed caution at times to get to the next day. Now, he lives in a luxury high-rise in another world, a half hour from his old neighborhood.

Rose scored 30 points in a losing effort vs. Cleveland the other day.  He made three's, was aggressive with the ball, and made a few moves on Kyrie Irving to score a lay-up and earn a foul.  James has 4 MVP's and two titles.  Rose has one MVP and a got the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals where they fell to the Heat. With Lebron.  James deserves the lengthy ovation he will likely get at home. It is the Chosen One, who has come back.

Rose will get a big ovation too, from the hungry Bulls fans who were thrilled by this play before his injuries.  It's only game Two but it could be an indicator of things to come.

Whatever happens, it is sure to be a special moment when the Cavaliers visit Chicago.