Source: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sport
It’s December 4th, 2017 and Derrick Rose has returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers after taking a two-week self-imposed absence from the team. When Rose left the team out of the blue a lot of questions were raised; Was this the last time we'd seen Derrick Rose playing basketball? Was Derrick Rose giving up after so many failed comeback attempts? Did the injuries take a toll on Rose? Even his love for the game of basketball, did his love for the sport finally evaporate? So many questions. It was a sad state no doubt about it.
Derrick Rose was a special player. Being picked first overall by his hometown Bulls in 2008. The Chicago native would win rookie of the year in 2009 and looked like he was going to be one of the best players for years to come. The height of Rose's power came in 2011 when he became the first Bulls player since Michael Jordan (in 1998) to win league MVP, he led Chicago to a number 1 seed in the East but lost out to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 5 games. As a basketball fan, this is what we could have seen for the next 5-6 years. LeBron vs D-rose, two of this generation’s best facing off in the playoffs, swapping championships and MVPs. Next season Rose would get paid in full. With a lucrative 94 million dollars for 5 years, the contract extension made Derrick Rose the 11th highest paid player in the league. There was nothing that could go wrong with the 22-year-old former MVP. Or so we thought.
On April 28, 2012, everything changed. Game one the of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Chicago Bulls faced the Philadelphia 76ers. With 1:26 left in the game and the Bulls up in double digits, Derrick Rose has the ball and decides to drive to the basket. While driving he jumps and pump fakes the shot and passes the ball off to Carlos Boozer, he lands awkwardly on his left leg and after is seen holding his left knee as he falls on the court. That one play changed Derrick Roses career forever. Rose suffered a torn ACL and sat out the entire 2012-2013 season. His first game back from his torn ACL injury would be on October 29th against the Heat. In 34 minutes of play, Rose would notch 12 points and 4 assists. His comeback was short-lived as Rose tore his right meniscus against Portland on November 22, nearly one month since returning. He would miss the next 76 games. Rose couldn’t stay healthy, injuries kept piling up for Pooh and his play wasn’t the same anymore.
Rose looked like a shell of himself, and the Bulls said sayonara to their former franchise player as they shipped him to New York after the 2016 season. It was the end of an era that had so much promise. Rose would play one injury-plagued season in New York. In the off-season, the Knicks didn’t want Rose back.
The summer of 2017 Derrick Rose went to Cleveland and play alongside LeBron James. The man that took out his Bulls while he was in Miami. LeBron is hard to play with sometimes because he expects so much for his teammates, but maybe that's what Rose needed to get back to some decent basketball. Defensively he wasn’t great but he still can put up some buckets, and with Kyrie Irving recently traded to the Boston Celtics, Rose's role with the team became more prominent. There was some potential with Rose and the Cavs, but it became a nightmare for the former superstar. He struggled under Tyron Lue and after injuring his ankle against the Milwaukee Bucks in October Rose wouldn't return until January. Upon his return, Cleveland was riding an 11 game winning streak. He would score 9 points in 13 minutes of playing time, but after a couple weeks, his time in Cleveland ended after being traded to Utah, the Jazz would waive Rose just two days later.
Derrick Rose would get lucky as his former coach in Chicago, Tom Thibodeau, would sign Derrick Rose for the remainder of the season. Thibodeau still felt Rose could play basketball at a high level. Thibodeau minimized Rose's playing time to preserve the former MVP, and it appears to have paid off. The T-Wolves resigned him this past offseason and Derrick Rose is having a resurgence. He’s not been the same guy he once was but that doesn’t matter, Rose is playing better than he has in years. Averaging close to 19 points per game, the most since his last all-star season in 2011-12.
It’s Halloween night and Minnesota are hosts to the Utah Jazz. In one of the best moments of the season, Derrick Rose accomplished something he had never done before. Rose scored a career-high 50 points. It was such a shock but a heartfelt moment nonetheless. Just less than a year after he almost quit playing basketball, Derrick Rose put on a show. Rose was very emotionally enduring post-game interview, as a fan watching you couldn’t help get a little emotional yourself. Rose endured so many setbacks and watching him get knocked down time after time it was a proud moment watching him ball out. He continues to be a contributor for the T-Wolves and could be a possible Western Conference All-Star this season.
Earlier this week Rose had another solid performance, this time against his former team the Chicago Bulls. Rose lead the Wolves to a win with 24 points and was two assists shy from a double-double. Fans in the United Center chanted MVP while he was at the free throw line in the 4th quarter. He’s still much loved in Chicago.
Derrick Rose has been one of the best stories this year. He’s been an inspiration for people everywhere in the world. No matter how many times Rose got knocked down he would try and get right back up, he’s work hard for so many years to try and play at a high level while showing a little of his old self on the court. There’s plenty of games left in the season and another serious injury could derail him again, but right now Derrick Rose is an inspiration and a winner to many basketball fans around the world.