First there was the injury, and then the surgery. There were killings, and then there were tears. Soon to come, there will be The Return; but right now, there is the shoe. Of all present things, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose’s health and forthcoming re-introduction to NBA play is in the background, and it is his sneaker – the adidas d rose 3 -- which has made a statement. The shoe is the reason that such a timeline is even seared into the brains of fans across the world.

For some, this new shoe has given its namesake’s journey cult figure status. Simply put, the d rose 3 is definitive in the footwear zeitgeist – it may already be one of the most important historical pieces of signature footwear since the Nike Air Jordan III, a comeback shoe of sorts for the G.O.A.T. In the case of the player Rose, his entire essence now revolves around his comeback and his sleds are essentially the guiding light.

For the first time in the Rose signature series, both retail competitors, Foot Locker and Line, are selling the footwear. The three stripes have evolved the look of the new shoe entirely, setting the stage for a potential metaphorical narrative arc for the post-injury Rose. So confident is adidas that the shoe is a table-setter for the fall and winter seasons of basketball footwear that adidas has raised the price of the shoe by more than 30 percent.

Michael Jordan luckily survived his early rocky road with injury early in his career and rose to unparalleled heights soon after, but others with comparable fanfare and footwear accompaniment did not. Grant Hill saw his own signature shoe die soon after he broke his own foot. Vince Carter hobbled so often with jumper’s knee that the entire Nike Shox technology (not just his own line) eventually became extinct, while Tracy McGrady’s back and knees devastated his entire brand empire. And so now for Rose, there is only the shoe and the return to play.

The question is this -- will either survive their times?