November 17, 2014
Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” should be on many rock fans’ lists as a song that gets everyone excited. From the opening riffs to its bombastic ending, the song doesn’t let up. if you want to listen to the song with lyrics, play the video below:
What does this have to do with sports? Well, the lyrics sums up an athlete’s journey.
We sports fans use the Iron Man term for a player who sets onto their field or court every single game. Baseball has Cal Ripken, for example, who played 2632 consecutive games in the major leagues.
Basketball hasn’t had an iron man for a long time.
Take a look at Derrick Rose, the often-injured Chicago Bulls point guard. The former MVP winner came under fire for a few comments he made about sitting himself out for the future. The following is his quotes verbatim used in the Chicago Tribune:
“I’m thinking about after I’m done with basketball,’’ Rose said, “having graduations to go to, having meetings to go to. I don’t want to be in my meetings all sore or be at my (2-year-old) son’s graduation all sore just because of something I did in the past.’’
You’d think he was talking like a football player, but he isn’t. In fact, Rose went through a sprained ankle and a strained left hamstring early this season.
Granted, the Bulls and their fans should not be happy with these comments. They want the man who once led the team with reckless abandon to play every game at the most elite level. They don’t want a reflective man who seemingly complains and preparing for the future.
But let’s look at the other side of this discussion. Yes, there is always another side.
Rose played by driving through the lane and taking tremendous amounts of punishment. Dwyane Wade did the same thing and received the same treatment, although he lucked out by not sitting out a full year and winning four NBA titles.
Wade is just one of the guys who isn’t known for playing all 82 games. In fact, name the person who’s has the most games played and still is in the NBA. I can’t remember.
That’s the point; there is no Iron Man in the NBA.
Wade, Rose and other superstars have trouble playing consecutive games. Even Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder won’t fit in that category with their injuries as well. Maybe Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony have shots to at least play all of this season, but it’s doubtful.
Maybe the right strategy comes from the San Antonio Spurs. Coach Gregg Popovich rests his starters no matter what. They also have great players to compensate when Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker take their breaks.
It seems the Bulls are primed to copy the Spurs’ strategy. They have the depth to compensate for Rose’s presence. Why else do you they brought back Kirk Hinrich and signed Aaron Brooks? They’re insurance, just in case Rose cannot hold up.
They also focused on offense more in the offseason, signing Pau Gasol and drafting Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic. They still have Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah on their team as well. The Bulls are a team to be reckoned with in this present NBA landscape.
Unfortunately, they too won’t have an Iron Man. No team, in my opinion, will have a player who will dominate every single game. Those days are long gone, but maybe someday in the NBA, “Iron Man” will live again.
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