• Marquist Parker/Khaleel Abdullah

The Derrick Rose Dilemma: How Should We Remember Him?


When you look at Derrick Rose and the career he’s had, it’s hard not to think what if? When he’s been healthy, he’s been a sensation. Health has been a major point of concern that no doubt side tracked his career, though.

Rose was selected first overall in the 2008 draft by the Chicago Bulls. He became the first player drafted by the Bulls to score 10 points or more in each of his first 10 games since Michael Jordan.He was the first rookie to win the Skills Challenge and he won Rookie of the Year.

In his playoff debut, as a rookie going up against the defending champion Boston Celtics, he put up 36 points. That tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA record for points scored by a rookie in his playoff debut. He also dished out 11 assists, becoming the second player in NBA history to record 35 points and 10 assists in his playoff debut.

As a sophomore, Rose was named to his first career All-Star Game. In his third season in the league he was again named an All-Star and also Most Valuable Player, the youngest player to ever receive the award.

In December 2011, he signed a five-year contract extension with the Bulls for just short of $100 million dollars.

Life in the NBA looked great for the young superstar, or so it seemed, but it went downhill quick. Over the next five seasons, he had four separate knee surgeries, missed the entire 2013-14 season and seriously considered just hanging it up.

In March 2018, he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he played the rest of the season then re-signed for the 2018-19 season. Thankfully for him, he had a bit of resurgence and he played very well despite the earlier injuries. On October 31, in his first start of the season, Rose scored a career-high 50 points.

A couple of us at Off the Glass decided to discuss Derrick Rose and his career thus far.

Where would a healthy Derrick Rose fit in today’s NBA? Where do you think he would rank as a player? Where would he rank as a point guard?

Khaleel : It’s really hard to imagine D-Rose healthy, which is sad. He was special and he was able to be special for his hometown. He was a Chicago kid. A lot of fans of today’s game will not be able to remember “prime” Rose. I put prime in quotes because he unfortunately didn’t get to see his prime. His best year was the 2010-11 season where he put up a 45-33-86 and averages of 25 points, 7.7 assists and 1 steal per game. In those playoffs he posted 27.1 points, 7.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He was a decent three-point shooter and he could fire up the crowd with some flashy dunks. He could have easily averaged 30 points and 8 assists per game. In today’s NBA, I’d probably have to place him in the same conversation as guys like Kemba Walker, Victor Oladipo and Jrue Holiday. I think he could very well be an All-Star in the East.

Marquist : In today’s NBA I see Rose as a Westbrook-type figure. He’d be a divisive figure who would have loyal supporters for his athletic ability and story, and have just as many detractors for his inefficient and reckless style of play. I would put prime Rose around the top 10, I don’t think he would have ever developed the shooting ability that he displayed in Minnesota because he wouldn’t have had to. As a point guard he’d easily be in that Dame, Kyrie, and Kemba tier, which is very good.

Where have injuries impacted him the most?

Khaleel : My last response was a little longer so I’ll make this one short. I think the worst part of the injuries for him was he was never able to become the player he could have been. We will never know great of a player Derrick Rose could have been. He will be in the same breath as guys like Penny Hardaway and Grant Hill. Man, I’d enjoy watching that backcourt.

Marquist : I think injuries took Rose’s confidence, which I think is the worst part. You can just tell that he wants to do the things that he used to but his body has failed him and that reality has killed his confidence.

What would his career look like if injuries never happened? What accolades do you think he would have? Would he be an All-Time great?

Khaleel : See my previous response. We will never know how great he could have been. I’d say for sure multiple All-Star appearances and maybe a couple more MVP and even Finals MVP awards. If he kept going how he was prior to injury, there is no doubt he could have been a top 50 player in league history.

Marquist : I think Rose had a few more All-Nba selections in him before Steph Curry took over the point guard conversations. I’m of the opinion that his MVP was because of LeBron fatigue, so I don’t think he was going to win another one, and he didn’t have the game to lead a team to a title in my opinion.

He signed with the Detroit Pistons in free agency. What do you expect from him this season?

Khaleel : I’d like to see him continue from where he left off in Minnesota. That was a feel good story for him, being able to come in and be mostly healthy and contribute. He has a solid chance at being able to start next to Reggie Jackson. Seeing him average about 15 points per game and be able to help the Pistons in the playoffs would be great.

Marquist : I expect Rose to end the season as the Piston’s starter, his newly developed shooting ability will allow him to beat out Reggie Jackson. In a weak East we may get to see him playing meaningful playoff minutes for the first time in a while.

Derrick Rose is one of the saddest stories in NBA history. A young superstar at the peak of his abilities who had his body betray him just when he began to scratch the surface of his potential. The swift and stunning decline of Rose has caused many to imagine what he would have been without those injury problems, these thoughts often romanticize a player who was both amazingly talented and flawed.

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