Derrick Rose has stepped away from the Cavaliers for over a week and is currently evaluating his future in the game of basketball due to constant injury problems over the last five seasons, and while LeBron James isn’t worried about what that means for the Cavaliers on the court, he did offer support to Rose, via Cleveland.com:
"I don't think it means too much for the team, but I think more importantly as one of his brothers, that's somebody we got to know these last couple months," James said. "We want, whatever he decides to do, we want the best for him. At the end of the day, you can't substitute nothing for happiness."
"We hope this ain't the end, but if it is, I was happy I got an opportunity to spend a couple months with him and watch him be the great point guard that he once was," James said. "But at the end of the day, a clearer head, there's no substitute for that."
Dwyane Wade is obviously somebody who can relate to Rose in terms of dealing with waning athleticism and lingering injuries, though not to the same extent. He said he considered retiring a couple years ago, and that he understands what Rose is going through, also via Cleveland.com:
Obviously I can't say I understand what he's going through, but I understand what he's going through," Wade said. "I definitely had a moment in my career a few years back where I was thinking about retiring myself. It's hard when you're dealing with injuries after injuries after injuries -- it takes a toll on you mentally.
"This game brings so much joy to guys and it brings the opposite as well. It will take you to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. If you're not mentally where you need to be it affects you with your family, it affects you in your day to day. You're just hurting. When you're hurting you're frustrated and sometimes you think about walking away from the game. I definitely thought about it. I'm glad I didn't."
Both players quotes are revealing in their tone. It certainly sounds like both are very much at peace with the idea that Rose might step away for good, and James specifically said that Rose’s absence didn’t mean that much for the team.
The Cavs have found their stride without Rose, and that certainly makes it an easier blow to take if he decides to hang ‘em up. In the meantime, the Cavaliers appear to be providing a unified front in support of Rose no matter what he decides to do.