In the game of basketball, any NBA player that has stepped foot into the league has a story to tell. It is through their style of play, wins, and losses that a player’s journey is broadcasted. The story of Derrick Rose is perhaps one of the most cherished stories in the NBA, as his trials and tribulations molded him into the player that many fans admire.
The Story of Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose was born and raised by his mother, Brenda in Englewood, a troubling neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. Derrick’s three brothers—Dwayne, Reggie, and Allan served as a father figure to Rose, who was the youngest. Rose’s talent as a basketball player became apparent by the eighth grade. His brothers then started to guide him through his games and practices.
In 2003, Rose attended Simeon Academy in the Chatham area of Chicago. It was during this time that Rose collected numerous wins and awards. During his senior year, he was ranked the nation’s best high school point guard. He averaged 25.2 points a game, guiding Simeon to a 33-2 record and its second straight state title.
College coaches raved over the odds of landing Derrick Rose on their roster. In the end, Rose decided to play at the University of Memphis for John Calipari in 2007. Rose didn’t hesitate to leave his mark on the college court. In his one-and-done season with Memphis, he carried his team to a 38-2 season record, averaging 14.9 points, 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. This historic run led Memphis to the national championship, where they lost to the Kansas Jayhawks in overtime. Shortly after, Rose declared himself eligible for the NBA draft.
In June 2008, 19-year-old Derrick Rose was selected the first pick of the NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. This brought excitement in the city of Chicago, as fans were yearning for a star player to keep building on the Bulls legacy since Michael Jordan.
What makes Derrick Rose attractive in the game of basketball is that his style of play mirrors the art of streetball: the freaky athleticism and swift movements.
Rose excelled in his rookie season, averaging 16.8 points and 6.3 assists per game. He led the Bulls to a seventh playoff spot where they faced the Boston Celtics in the first round, this ended in seven games. Rose’s rookie season brought many accolades, including Rookie of The Year and a spot on the All-Star Rookie Team.
In his third year with the Chicago Bulls, Rose proved himself to be one of the most elite point guards the league had ever seen. The 2010-11 Chicago Bulls led by Rose, finished the regular season with 62-20 record, the best in the East. Despite losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, Rose was putting his team and his city on his back to a road of redemption. Rose averaged 25 points a game and seven assists which led to him being crowned the 2011 NBA MVP.
The Untimely Decline
With just a minute left of a first-round playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012, Rose landed on his feet and awkwardly fell down, holding on to his left knee. Rose had torn his left ACL, causing him to miss the 2012-13 NBA season. After that unfortunate injury, it was very difficult for Rose to revert to his elite style of play that fans fell in love with. Over the course of the next three seasons with Bulls, Rose faced countless injuries, from a torn meniscus to sprained ankles.
In 2016, the Chicago Bulls traded Rose to the New York Knicks. In the documentary “Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story”, Rose was seen holding back tears after hearing the news that he’ll be a Knick. “I’m just in awe,” Rose says of the trade. His time in New York was not so great, as he averaged 18 points, three rebounds, and four assists before being ruled out for the season with a torn left meniscus. He then went to the Cleveland Cavaliers where he only played 16 games before deciding to leave the team to re-evaluate his future. Rose at this point, was going through a rollercoaster of events and emotions. At this moment, one question pondered everyone’s minds: Will Derrick Rose ever be the same?
During the March 2018 free agency, Rose signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, reuniting with his former coach Tom Thibodeau. In his first season with the Timberwolves, he played fairly well, averaging 14.2 points in 23.8 minutes per game.
In his first start for the 2018-19 season, he scored a career-high 50 points in a 128-125 win against the Utah Jazz. Rose looked fresh; he started to move and play like the 19-year-old D-Rose that the league introduced us to.
“I played my heart out,” Rose said post-game. “My teammates told me before the game, just play my game. And tonight was a hell of a night.”
That night was the true definition of perseverance. Years ago, it seemed destined that Rose would never play the game of basketball ever again. Yet, Rose got back up every time he would get knocked down. Now a free agent, Rose is looking into possibly returning to Chicago Bulls at 30 years old. With a career seamlessly flooded with injuries, Derrick Rose’s story seemed to nearly end as a tragedy. However, It seems like the stars are aligning again for Derrick Rose to continue his legacy.
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