Full disclosure, I am an unabashed Derick Rose stan. When injuries piled up and memes flew, I put my cape on and defended him. And I still will. But the time for him to move on has arrived and I am not upset the Bulls traded our guy away.
I watched him ball before he was at Simeon, I saw him destroy grown men as a mere child. When he brought state titles to Simeon even as a Kenwood grad I had a sense of pride. It was like he was doing it for Chicago. I know that I am not alone in this feeling about Rose.
When he went to Memphis he did what he had always done, he won. After coming a miracle Mario Chalmers shot (Seriously screw Mario Chalmers) from a national title I thought that would be it after that, some other town would get to enjoy the explosive kid from Englewood. He'd move on and we wouldn't see him until he decided to hang it up.
But as the basketball gods would have it the ping pong balls bounced in our favor and Chicago got the number one pick. Pooh was coming home.
Right out the gate we saw what Chicagoans knew could be come to fruition. Incredible vision, arguably the best body control of anyone not named Lebron James, and an explosive finisher.
We had our homegrown superstar. In just his 3rd season he was named NBA MVP and the Bulls made a run to the Easter Conference Finals. The next season we seemed poised to have more battles with the Miami Heat, but as soon as our run began it was over. A torn ACL in the waning minutes of a playoff game crushed the city’s basketball hopes and dreams that we have yet to recover from.
Over the past few seasons we saw glimpses of what he was, and I believe he can once again become the elite payer he once was. Unfortunately it just wasn't going to happen here. He became scrutinized more and pushed himself to come back sooner than he should have through nagging injuries which caused bigger injuries which led to resentment from some fans. But not this one. Despite all the money he had made and endorsements gained, when I saw him on the court I saw the fire of the young guy from Englewood I saw many years ago.
So thanks Derrick for all the memories. The MVP, the playoff series against Boston whom we had no business taking to the limit, countless athletic dunks, lay ups and passes. I hope you to see you regain your place among the elites in the Mecca of basketball and I will always be a fan.