The moment that everything changed as it relates to the perception of Derrick Rose took place in March of 2013. Prior to that, he was the youngest MVP in NBA history and a wondrous talent, the hometown kid from the worst streets of Chicago who overcame tremendous odds.
He was humble and soft-spoken, yet his game was extraordinarily powerful, explosive and forceful. He'd been wowing seasoned hoops observers since his high school days at Simeon, following in the revered footsteps of Ben Wilson, who was tragically shot to death before the world had a chance to fully appreciate his remarkable gifts.
Simeon vs Washington - New Angles of the Jams. This was taken from the 2011 Simeon vs Whitney Young Game Where D.Rose was in the house to watch his old squad and Jabari Parker. NACHOS!
Like Wilson, Rose was the No.1 prep player in America and spoken about in glowing tones that was reserved for the city's greatest players ever like Doc Rivers, Cazzie Russell, Isiah Thomas, Tim Hardaway, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Aguirre and a few select others.
Unlike Wilson, Rose would elevate beyond playground legend status to mesmerize during his one-and-done campaign as the point guard at the University of Memphis before becoming the top overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Do you recall that majestic year at Memphis, when hoops fans outside of Chicago got their first true glimpse of his greatness, when he led the Tigers to 38 wins, the most in NCAA history, their first number one ranking in 25 years and an appearance in the Final Four and national championship game?
20 Year Old Westbrook With 22 Pts 20 Year Old Rose With 25 Pts Follow Me On Twitter -https://twitter.com/myyoutubechann1 got a highlights request? drop a comment here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4irRWWTUF94&feature=c4- overview&list=UU0LrZO9wORIqn_aRJtKdgfA Box Score - http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=284000062
I'll never forget his first NBA days, where fans in Chicago began summoning the name of one Michael Jeffrey Jordan when discussing the excitement and electricity that he brought to the court at the United Center, creating a buzz that had long been missing since MJ, Scottie and Phil had the place humming.
Rose became one of only three Bulls to be named the NBA Rookie of the Year, along with his royal Airness and Elton Brand, and was the first number one draft pick since LeBron James to win the award.
But the playoffs was something altogether different. After averaging 17 points, six assists and four rebounds per game during the regular season, he gave fans a tantalizing glimpse in his first postseason of what was possible in the days ahead.
Against Boston, the defending champs, in his playoff debut, Rose scorched for 36 points, tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA record for points scored by a rookie in his first playoff game. He also dished out 11 assists, and snagged four rebounds in the Bulls' 105–103 overtime road victory.
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The Bulls were eventually defeated by the Celtics in seven games, but notice had been served. The young fella was the real deal, coming for the crown as the best point guard in the league straight out the gate.
By his second year, he was a certifiable All-Star and the first Bulls player to make the squad since MJ did so 11 years earlier. He mesmerized in the playoffs once again, averaging 26.8 points and 7.2 assists.
His third year in, all systems were go as Rose showed that nothing and no one could stop him. Yeah, he was all the way up!!! He could easily get you 40 on any given night and when his teammates were flowing, he was an assist machine. Before the All-Star break, he gave the Spurs 42 points. In late March, he scored 30 and dished out 17 assists against the Bucks.
That 2010-2011 season, he'd already announced himself as an all-time great at the mere age of 22. The Bulls finished their remarkable season with 62 wins and the No.1 seed in the playoffs as Rose was a force of nature. He became only the third player since the 1972–73 NBA season to notch over 2,000 points and 600 assists in a single season. The other two are simply known as King James and Air Jordan. That's the rarefied level that my man was operating on. He went on to be named the youngest MVP in NBA history.
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But things, more specifically, his body, began to fall apart. In the first game of the playoffs the next year against the Sixers, in the midst of a masterful 23-point, nine-assist, nine-rebound performance, he tore his ACL. Not only would he miss the remainder of the playoffs, but he sat out the entire next year.
And that's when those with limited minds began questioning his heart. His image took a major hit when Bulls doctors cleared him to play in March 2013 after months of rehab on his surgically repaired left knee. But he didn’t think it was completely healed, and he didn’t suit up during that season or the playoffs. It’s where the criticism of him being soft, aloof and self-absorbed began.
From there came the torn meniscus in 2013 and another knee injury the next season. Rose would show flashes of his old form, like the 29 points on 12-of-25 shooting in a 104–98 win over OKC in November of 2015, the 34 points against Detroit in December and the 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists against the Nuggets in February of 2016.
Rose led the Bulls to the best record in the league this year. Here are his best plays from his unforgettable season. Visit http://www.nba.com/video for more highlights.
But he was never the same player as he was just a few years ago on a consistent basis.
His body continued to betray him, despite his heart and willingness. Last year with the Knicks, he tore his meniscus again and needed his fourth knee surgery in nine years. And now, after more leg injuries this year, he's taken a leave of absence from the Cavs to evaluate his future as an NBA player. Whether he walks away now or stays in the league for a few more years, only an absolute idiot would call the man a failure.
He gave us all that he had until his body made him a mere mortal and simply a good NBA player. But don't ever forget what he once was. He is one of only four players with 2,000 points, 600 assists, 300 rebounds and 50 blocks in a single season. The other names on that list are James Harden, LeBron and MJ.
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Rose is averaging career lows in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks this year, but that won't be the young man that I remember once it's all said and done. I don't care if he doesn't make the Hall of Fame. That's simply a byproduct of being hurt.
When he does ultimately decide that it's time to hang up his kicks, I'll remember the kid from Simeon, the awesomeness at Memphis and the young man who gave LeBron a legit challenge as the baddest man on the planet.
He gave us basketball lovers some memories that the injuries could never make vanish. He once inspired a city, made good on being the Rose who grew from concrete and made enough cash to take care of future generations of his family.
Check out the pregame ceremony as Derrick Rose is recognized as the 2010-2011 NBA Most Valuable Player. Visit http://www.nba.com/video for more highlights.
Derrick Rose may not go down as an all-time great given how briefly he reigned supreme. But for a few years there, he was among one of the absolute greatest players the game has ever seen.
That's good enough for me, as it should be for everyone else.