Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose are the only two players in Chicago Bulls history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP. While MJ is the best player in franchise history and the most popular athlete to ever play in Chicago, Rose is revered in the Windy City since he’s from there and became the youngest MVP in NBA history during the 2010-11 season.
Jordan played for four coaches during his time with the Bulls. While his favorite one was Phil Jackson since he won six titles with the Zen Master, he did have a close relationship with Doug Collins, someone who has a lot of respect for Rose.
Doug Collins coached Michael Jordan for three years in Chicago
Collins coached the Bulls for three seasons. He went 137-109 in the regular season and 13-17 in the playoffs. In the Last Dance docuseries, Jordan said he loved playing for Collins.
MJ and Collins led the Bulls to the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Detroit Pistons in six games. Bulls general manager Jerry Krause fired Collins after the Pistons series and named Jackson the new head coach. It was a surprising move and one that Jordan didn’t initially like.
However, Jordan and Jackson eventually built a strong bond and guided the Bulls to six championships during the ’90s. They are universally recognized as the greatest player-coach combo in NBA history.
When he played for the Washington Wizards in 2001-02 and 2002-03, Jordan reunited with Collins. They didn’t lead the team to the playoffs, but their relationship and positive rapport were always on display for the media.
Collins coached the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011-12 and 2012-13. He was the opposing coach when Rose tore his left ACL in the 2012 playoffs during a Bulls-Sixers game.
Collins tore his ACL during his playing career, so he knew the tough road Rose was facing. However, he didn’t undergo four knee injuries like Rose has, which is why he has a great deal of respect for the former Bulls point guard.
Derrick Rose is still playing high-level basketball
Since winning his MVP award in 2010-11, Rose has undergone four knee surgeries, one eye surgery, one elbow surgery, and been traded three times. He was even out of the NBA for a little bit during the 2017-18 season after the Utah Jazz waived him following their trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Many players quit after suffering several injuries, but Rose never did, and he’s once again playing high-level basketball, this time for Tom Thibodeau on the New York Knicks. Collins, who saw greatness every day in Chicago while coaching Jordan, recently told K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago that he loves everything about Rose and his perseverance.
“The thing with Derrick now is he has reinvented himself,” Collins said. “He has gone through all these injuries. And the amazing thing about it is usually when you go through a ton of injuries, it sort of saps your love for the game. Because all you’re doing is therapy. Rehab, therapy. And he has maintained his love for the game. And he has found a different spot. I love Derrick Rose and what he has meant to the NBA.”
Rose is no longer a superstar in the NBA, but he’s been extremely valuable to the Knicks. They are 21-8 with the three-time All-Star in the lineup and have outscored opponents by 105 points when he is on the court over their last eight games, per StatMuse.
MJ once praised D-Rose
When Rose became the first Bulls player since Jordan to make the All-Star team in 2009-10, the six-time champion praised the Chicago native.
It was a special moment for D-Rose.
“I’m very happy for him,” Jordan said about Rose. “The Bulls deserve an All-Star. He’s a very special player. He will represent Chicago well. Congratulations to him and the Bulls.”