I very seldom get angry over an athlete’s comments in the newspapers. I think you just kind of read the comments, give them little thought, and move on. However, we had something said recently that, I believe, made a lot of people in the Chicago area very angry.
At the initial Chicago Bulls media day to introduce the players to the fans for the upcoming season, Derrick Rose made some comments that were actually unbelievable. He said that free agency was coming up and he would have to look at his options. He then followed that up by saying he had to look at his son’s future.
Through no fault of his own, injuries have prevented him from hardly playing for the last three years and during all this time the Bulls coaches and management have been totally behind him. They consistently praised him for all the hard work he was doing in rehab, talked about how they were anxiously awaiting his return, and, of course, paid him his contract.
The Bulls have been extremely loyal to Rose so when he had the audacity to begin the 2015-16 year by indicating he would be looking into free agency, what was he thinking about? The purpose of the day was to get everyone excited about the new season with a new coach and he is talking about his free agency!
First of all, where did that come from? Why would he choose to take away from the enthusiasm and the excitement of the season kick-off? And what about his teammates who played so hard and unselfishly during his absence? And what about management that steadfastly stood behind him? He actually managed to ruin the day because so many of us saw it as a betrayal to his teammates and the organization.
Unfortunately, this was all people talked about. Almost no one talked about the new coach, the current players, and the hopes for the season.
The above was bad enough. Then he took it to the ridiculous. He said he had to consider free agency because he had to think about his son’s future. Most of us can relate to this. I’ll bet most of the people reading this blog have made approximately $280 million dollars the past seven years!
This entire ordeal may be a good lesson for leaders. Sometimes, certainly not all the time, we have to deal with employees whom we feel we have really gone out of our way to help, nurture, and promote only to have them leave us.
I think there is only one way to deal with this. Realize that ungratefulness and lack of loyalty are a sad part of life. Let them go, don’t dwell on them for a minute, and move on and serve the people who remain with you.