Where Did He Come From?
One of the greatest and most underrated stories of all time is that of Derrick Rose. Rose is symbol of hope for players around the world who have risen to the top only to see it all collapse before their eyes due to injury. It safe to say that there are not a lot of athletes that have had to injure the physical pain and mental anguish that comes from reoccurring season ending injuries. He was not a perfect person, but what was most important was that he never stopped getting back up after he was knocked down.
Roses’ struggles began early in life near the South Side of Chicago. His mother Brenda raised him with three other brothers, Reggie, Dwayne, and Allan. In the year of 2003, it started to become clear that he had a future in the game of basketball. As a senior in high school he was ranked at the very top of point guards in the nation. College teams drooled over Rose and his 25.2 points per game and two titles, but in the end Rose selected the University of Memphis.
His legendary play didn’t end in high school, he went on to lead Memphis to a National Championship in his one and done season for Coach John Calipari. After showing out on basketball’s biggest amateur stage, Rose was selected as the number one pick in the draft to the Chicago Bulls. Ever since the departure of one Michael Jordan, the Chicago area was beyond desperate for some star power on the basketball court.
Early NBA Career
Derrick Rose was certainly a rare and unique basketball player, what made him so electrifying on the court was the fact that his style of play was so eccentric, he was like a wizard with the basketball. A giant vertical leap mixed with freaky athleticism combined to make an acrobat with a basketball. In Roses’ rookie season he averaged 16.8 points, along with 6.3 assists per contest. He managed to take home the Rookie of the Year award and earn the respect of the rest of the league.
Derrick Rose really took it to a whole other level in his third season in Chicago. The Bulls finished the season 62-20 and claimed the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. There was no question that Rose was the most valuable player on his team, with his 25 points per game he was crowned the MVP of the league. The league hadn’t seen anything like him, the grit and determination that he played with on a nightly basis was unheard of, not to mention his fearlessness as he would soar to the hoop.
In 2012, Rose and his Bulls took on the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs. In the waning minutes of game one he rose to the rim as he often did and came down on his feet awkwardly, resulting in Rose grasping for his knee and cringing in agony. The result of his fall was a torn left ACL. This serious and unfortunate injury caused Rose to miss out on the rest of the season. This injury changed Roses’ life forever. After attempting to return to his unreal level of play time and time again he soon realized that it did not seem like a reality. He prided himself on the ability to launch into the air with power and grace, and with the bad knee this gift was stripped from him.
Through the duration of time with the Bull’s, Roses’ struggles continued. For the next three seasons Rose was burdened with countless injuries, from sprained ankles to a torn meniscus.
After heartbreak struck for Rose and his fans time after time, the general consensus was that his time of people a productive player in the NBA had expired. He would make for a servicable backup, but with the recent importance of a high percentage shot becoming mandatory, Rose just didn’t seem like he could assist in a team’s success as a starter.
Free Agency time rolled around again in 2018 and the Minnesota Timberwolves and their head coach Tom Thibodeau had thier eyes set on Rose. Thibodeau coached Rose back in Chicago and knew of his fighting spirit and relentlessness. In his first season with Minnesota he average a respectable 14.2 points per game and dropped 50 points on a defensive minded Utah Jazz team. This was the game where the narrative began to shift. As the game commenced Rose showed glimpses of the player that he used to be, somewhere inside of him was the old Derrick Rose, the superstar.
That night against the Utah Jazz was an emotional one, with tears in his eyes he uttered in the post game interview. “I played my heart out.” If you fast forward to today Rose has taken the reigns as the starting point guard for the Detroit Pistons. With Blake Griffin out with injuries, Rose is the captain and the leader of the team. Now averaging 18 points a game he has showed the world what can come from never giving up on your dream.