Before he tore his left ACL during Game 1 of the 2012 playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers, Derrick Rose was the best point guard in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls. The former No. 1 overall pick won the 2011 MVP award, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to take home the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. Rose also guided his hometown Bulls to the NBA’s best record during the 2010-11 season and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Since winning his MVP award, Rose has undergone four knee surgeries, been traded twice, and waived once. Although he’s no longer a superstar in the NBA, Rose is still one of the most respected players in the league since he’s battled back from his injuries and is still playing the game at a high level.
During his younger days, though, no one in the NBA stopped Derrick Rose from dominating the game, and one of his biggest rivals in the league recently spoke about how deadly prime D-Rose was.
Derrick Rose was a monster during his MVP season
In just his third season in the NBA, Derrick Rose became the best player in the world. During the 2010-11 season, the Chicago native averaged 25.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game for the Bulls while shooting 44.5% from the field and 85.8% from the free-throw line.
Even though the Miami Heat had LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh leading the way, Rose led his Bulls to a 3-0 record against the Heat during the 2010-11 regular season. By winning MVP while playing on his rookie contract, Rose also created a new rule in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement called the “Derrick Rose” rule. The rule allows young stars to qualify for a higher maximum salary–30% of the cap instead of 25%–early in their careers.
Derrick Rose and the Bulls faced off against LeBron James and the Heat in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals. Miami won the series in five games, but it was clear that Chicago’s future was bright with Rose leading the way.
The Chicago native has been through a lot since winning his MVP award
Derrick Rose has suffered four serious knee injuries since winning the MVP award, none bigger than his left ACL tear during the 2012 playoffs. The three-time All-Star has undergone four knee surgeries, two on each knee.
The Bulls traded Rose to the New York Knicks in the summer of 2016, ending his run in his hometown of Chicago. The Windy City franchise felt it was time for a fresh start since Rose kept getting hurt with the Bulls and was no longer playing at an All-Star level.
Rose has played for the Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Detroit Pistons since his days with the Bulls ended. The former MVP was actually out of the NBA for a while during the 2017-18 season after the Utah Jazz waived Rose shortly after acquiring him from the Cavs.
In March of 2018, Tom Thibodeau–who coached Rose on the Bulls–signed the guard for the rest of the 2017-18 season. D-Rose averaged 14.2 points while shooting 70.0% from beyond the arc in the 2018 playoffs against the Houston Rockets, seemingly saving his NBA career.
The former All-NBA scorer fully rejuvenated his walk of life in 2018-19 by averaging 18.0 points per game for the Timberwolves and scoring a career-high 50 points on Halloween. Derrick Rose’s 50-point game came against the Jazz, which was fitting since Utah waived him just a season ago.
Rajon Rondo gives D-Rose his flowers
Rajon Rondo recently told Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on the “All The Smoke” podcast that Derrick Rose is his favorite point guard matchup of all time. The two stars have had plenty of battles through the years, but Rondo focused on the 2009 playoffs when the Boston Celtics and Bulls met in the first round.
The Celtics beat the Bulls in seven games. However, rookie D-Rose put on a show in the seven-game series. He averaged 19.7 points and 6.4 assists and registered 36 points and 11 assists in his first playoff game. Rajon Rondo has gone up against some of the best point guards in NBA history, so for him to single out Derrick Rose speaks volumes.
D-Rose currently plays for the Pistons. He averaged 18.1 points and 5.6 assists per game for the team last season and remains one of the best guards in the NBA despite all the injuries he’s suffered.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.