|A costly win for the Chicago Bulls in their opener against the Philadelphia 76ers as star player Rose tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ruling him out for the rest of the season [REUTERS]
Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, last year's NBA Most Valuable Player, suffered a torn left knee ligament in a victory over Philadelphia and will miss the rest of the playoffs, the Bulls said on Saturday.
Rose, who had missed 27 games this season with various injuries, scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds while adding nine assists in a 103-91 Bulls triumph to open an Eastern Conference best-of-seven first-round series.
But the news about Rose stole any joy from the victory for the Bulls, who still need 15 more playoff triumphs to achieve their goal of a championship.
"It's like the saddest win," Bulls guard Kyle Korver said.
The injury, which came when Rose planted his feet for a jump shot with about 80 seconds remaining and the Bulls well ahead, also means that Rose almost certainly will not play for the United States at the London Olympics.
Injuries to star players have been a fear even before the start of the season after a money dispute between club owners and players forced the season to be cut to 66 games over a condensed four-month span that ended on Thursday.
"Because of the Greed of the NBA another great player goes down in Derrick Rose," ex-NBA and current China league star Stephon Marbury posted on his Twitter site.
"To(o) many games in such a short time. Players need to learn."
Most of the tweets from NBA players were get-well wishes for Rose and New York's Iman Shumpert, who also went down with an injury in a playoff opener on Saturday.
"Hate to see that happen to D Rose. Wishing him a speedy recovery," said Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin.
Rose missed 12 games this season for a groin injury and five games each for back, toe and ankle problems. The Bulls went 18-9 without him and 32-7 the rest of the season.
"I just feel bad for him," Bulls teammate Carlos Boozer said before Rose's diagnosis was made official. "He has been through so much this season. The kid can't catch a break."
"Let's keep the rest of the NBA playoffs healthy," Minnesota star Kevin Love posted. "D Rose and Shump, speedy recoveries."
Charlotte Bobcats forward D.J. White summed up how most teams felt about their star players in referencing Miami's Dwyane Wade, tweeting, "After the injuries to Rose and Shumpert I would take Wade out of the game immediately."
Rose, All-Star centre Dwight Howard and guard Chauncey Billups have suffered season-ending injuries after being named to the US Olympic preliminary roster.
Rose was among 10 players from the US team that won the 2010 world title, the best of which were expected to mix with the top stars from the 2008 Olympic gold medal squad to provide a formidable London Olympic line-up.
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, New Jersey's Deron Williams and Chris Paul of the Clippers could fill a similar role as Rose in the American line-up as they try to defend their 2008 gold medal.
Jeremy Lin, the first NBA player of Taiwan heritage who became an overnight sensation with the New York Knicks after leading them to seven wins in a row, was not among Olympic finalists because of the depth at the same position.