Derrick Rose has played four games against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center since getting traded by his hometown team in 2016. The Chicago native spent the first eight years of his career with the Bulls and became the youngest MVP in NBA history in 2011. However, Rose suffered three severe knee injuries after winning MVP and was eventually traded to the New York Knicks on June 22, 2016.
Rose and Michael Jordan are the only two players in Bulls history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP and play in an All-Star Game. Chicago fans adored the point guard during his early years in the Windy City, but things changed after he sat out the 2012-13 season. Bulls doctors cleared Rose to return from his ACL injury, but he never felt comfortable playing, which explains why some fans booed him on November 4, 2016.
Bulls fans booed Derrick Rose
In his first game back at the United Center, Rose was booed by Bulls fans in pregame introductions and every time he touched the ball. The three-time All-Star even signaled the crowd to “bring it” after hitting a jumper. It was a hostile environment for the 2010-11 MVP.
The Knicks defeated the Bulls by a final score of 117-104. Rose played 38 minutes and finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists. He averaged 18.0 points and 4.4 assists in 2016-17 but underwent his fourth knee surgery near the end of the campaign.
In the summer of 2017, Rose signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was eager to play with LeBron James and Kevin Love and help the Cavs get back to the Finals, sans Kyrie Irving, who requested a trade. Unfortunately, Greg Monroe took Rose out of the air in the second game of the season, and the Memphis product suffered a serious ankle injury.
Rose left the Cavs for a short time to evaluate his basketball future following another injury. In January, he returned to the team and played in nine games before getting traded to the Utah Jazz. The Jazz then waived Rose, and suddenly, the youngest player to win the Maurice Podoloff Trophy was out of the NBA.
Derrick Rose rejuvenated his career
Rose averaged 14.2 points while shooting 50.9% from the field and 70.0% from beyond the arc for the Timberwolves in the first round of the 2018 playoffs against the Houston Rockets. That was just the beginning of his renaissance.
During the 2018-19 season, Rose put up 18.0 points and 4.3 assists per game while shooting 48.2% from the floor. The highlight of his season was his 50-point game versus the Jazz on Halloween. After the game, the Windy City Assassin was emotional since he knew how much work he put into his craft.
Bulls fans must have watched Rose from afar in 2018-19 and been happy for him because they treated him utterly different on December 26, 2018, when the Timberwolves came to Chicago. Instead of getting booed as he did in 2016, Rose received a loud ovation during pregame warmups and MVP chants at the free-throw line. The 2008-09 Rookie of the Year finished with 24 points and eight assists in the Timberwolves’ 119-94 win.
During the 2019 offseason, Rose signed with the Detroit Pistons. He not only averaged 18.1 points and 5.6 assists, but he also got another hero’s welcome when the Pistons played the Bulls in Chicago.
Bulls fans went crazy for their former star
The Pistons played in Chicago twice during the 2019-20 season. In both games, Rose was loudly cheered by Bulls fans and once again received MVP chants.
Rose is back on the Knicks for his second stint after the Pistons traded him to New York in 2021. The Bulls and Knickerbockers play at the United Center on October 28. Chicago fans will likely give Rose loud applause when he checks into the game.
Whatever hard feelings there were in 2016 are clearly gone.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference