By Ben Golliver
Bulls point guard Derrick Rose must be getting closer to his comeback to the court if the marketing campaign built around his rehabilitation is wrapping up.
Adidas on Tuesday released the final episode of its "The Return" video documentary chronicling Rose's path back from an ACL injury and subsequent surgery. Whereas previous episodes in the series offered Rose the chance to show his fans how his treatment worked and discuss the mental side of a season-ending injury, this episode, dubbed "All In," is a simple victory lap.
Rose, known as an intensely private and shy person, sounds pleased by the impact of the series, which has been viewed millions of times on YouTube.
"I think this is the most I ever spoke in my life," Rose says. "People always assumed that I was a good guy and assumed that I work hard and I showed it. I don't know how many times I've been out and people just came up to me saying that, like, just seeing little snippets of the documentary like inspired them. I hope people just take this and run with it. It's just me. I'm just being real. And that's the way that my family raised me, and the people that surround me; we're just real people."
The video shows him doing stomach crunches by a pool, shooting hoops in the gym, goofing with his friends and other behind-the-scenes moments shot during the series.
"I'm at peace with myself," he says. "Every week I'm moving on to something new. My core has gotten a lot stronger. Now I'm combining my lower body with my upper body and I’m doing it six times a week. All that stuff is definitely helping me build my body."
It's still unclear when Rose will return. The Bulls, 6-7 with three losses in their last four games, need him more than ever.
"I got a lot of confidence with the team that we have," Rose says. "They see me lifting all the time, shooting, just trying to do extra just to show them that just because I'm not on the court with them that I'm still working my butt off so that I can get back on the court as quick as possible."
The whole series can be seen below.
Episode 1: "Belief"
Episode 2: "Hope"
Episode 3: "Focus"
Episode 4: "Push"
Episode 5: "Drive"
Episode 6: "All In"