Derrick Rose: The NBA’s Story of the Year, So Far
Odds are you've seen the last few games for the Minnesota Timberwolves. For NBA fans, Minny has been one of the top stories of the season, chiefly because former-MVP Derrick Rose has been balling.
Since dropping 50 points against the Jazz on Halloween, Rose has put in a 30-point game, a 23-pointer, and two 21-point outings. He's shooting 45.7 percent from the field for the season, and Rose is averaging 19.1 points per game. All for a team that is oozing with dysfunction.
But it doesn’t seem to have affected the three-time All-Star. The raw emotion displayed by the humble son of Chicago tells you everything you need to know about the climb Rose has begun to overcome.
Rose took the league by storm in 2008. His explosive play - only rivaled by Russell Westbrook - allowed him to separate himself from all other point guards. He was like a mini-LeBron James at 6’3”. The accolades underscore the trajectory Rose was destined for; 2009 Rookie of the Year, 2009 All-Rookie 1st Team, 2011 MVP (youngest in NBA history), 2011 All-NBA 1st Team. The world was his and the NBA was on notice. He was one of the top three best players on the planet and nothing was going to change that.
Then April 28th 2012 happened.
During a first-round game against the pre-process Philadelphia 76ers with 1:20 left in regulation and the game in hand, Rose drove to the lane and came down awkwardly. Life in Chicago came to a stand-still, NBA fans shared a collective gasp. Every Bulls fan held their breathe in sheer fear of what they saw.
Maybe it was a bad dream. An injury that looked worse than it was going to be. No one wanted to believe what had happened, that the 22-year-old face of the franchise, and international super-star had just torn his ACL. The Rose we grew to love and expected to be around dominating for years to come was gone, some thought forever.
Time has come and gone. New faces are sprinkled all throughout the league. The game Rose came into in 2008 has changed, and dramatically. Guards hover around three point lines that start just past half court, and two point shots are nearly taboo. Rose is now on his fourth team in his ninth season.
Now with Minnesota, Rose is playing in a situation with familiar faces from his Chicago past. You can start to see the rust of the injuries of old are peeling off. When he moves on the court, it isn’t as gingerly. You aren’t thinking, is this the drive he is coming back down oddly?Rose's bounce looks like it's back. He looks confident.
Do yourself a favor. Check out the following video of old, pre-injury Rose. The guy was filthy. An absolute Windy City Assassin (As Stacey King would say), a nonchalant aerial warrior. And over the last few games all those memories are becoming realities again.
Rose may not be the above the rim player he once was. Few players can keep that style of play over a prolong period of time. Knees can’t handle the wear and tear. Unless you're Vince Carter, but he is an exception. Rose has, however, adjusted his game. His outside shot is coming into form. Seven three pointers against Los Angeles displayed a bit of that.
Rose is breaking old records he never touched when he was in his prime as a Bull. Maybe he is on his way of finding his second coming. Perhaps this is just a flash in the pan and we should just be happy we got a glimpse of what could have been. Whatever it is, I’m glad I’ve been able to bear witness. The fans wanted this moment, the players are rejoicing but Rose he deserves this.