Derrick Rose: Chicago’s very own


Courtesy of Keith Allison via wikicommons

Once the hometown hero, now his hometown’s memory. Where does Rose go from here?

Brian Quevedo, Writer

By the year 2011, the Chicago Bulls announcer shouting “from Chicago!” had become an utterance that was all too familiar. Chicago’s native born son, Derrick Rose, could do no wrong. The entire city of Chicago loved him because not only was he one of their own, but he was also “the one” who was supposed to break the 13-year championship drought.

It was his destiny. Rose’s athleticism at the point guard position was something that the world had never witnessed. His transcendent style of play lead him to become Rookie of the Year; become the youngest MVP in NBA history at 22 years old; and even force and even force former commissioner David Stern to create a rule now known as the “Derrick Rose rule.”

The hometown hero went from being beloved to being excoriated in the public eye. Fans frustrations grew larger and larger throughout the years with his constant injuries; his decision to sit out games because of “general soreness” in his knees; and questionable comments about his next contract, given his injury history.

Now a member of the New York Knicks, Rose can reflect back on playing for his hometown team, a place that will always have a special place in his heart.

“The city meant everything,” said Rose in an interview with Sam Smith, Bulls writer and author of “The Jordan Rules.” “They’re the reason I played the way I played. I wanted to show them that every year I worked on my game. In the offseason, I worked on things to see if people saw what I worked on, adding a jump shot, a bank shot, see if the fans can see. They saw me ever since I was in sixth grade, a guy who had natural raw talent, figured out how to score on a consistent basis, improved his jump shot. The city pushes you and forces you to work on your game.

On Jan. 9, Rose missed a Knicks game against the New Orleans Pelicans without informing the team. Reports later revealed that he had shown up at morning shoot around, but then mysteriously flew back to Chicago due to a family issue with his mother. He chose not to contact the Knicks organization because he needed his “space.”

“I needed that space to myself and I needed to be around my mom. It had nothing to do with the team or basketball. That’s the first time I ever felt like that emotionally and I had to be with my family,” Rose said in an interview with Knicks beat reporter Ian Begley.

Many will argue that it’s irresponsible to not contact your boss if you can’t make it to work, especially since it is standard protocol, but can context play a factor? After all, the Knicks organization did choose to fine Rose $200,000 instead of suspending him, which strongly suggests that there is inside information that the public is not fully aware of.

Rose’s career can be considered incomparable to the average NBA athlete. After receiving numerous player awards early in his career, Rose suffered the first of his many knee injuries at just 23 years old. While Rose was rehabbing from injury for three straight years, other top tier players were healthy and playing.

If one were to grow accustomed to success in a work setting, but then go on to endure hardship for continuous years, would the passion one had at the beginning still remain the same? Would one look forward to work as much as one used to? Have the injuries and time away from his family taking an emotional toll on Rose, which can explain his unexcused absence from the Pelicans game?

Being drafted by your hometown team can come with its pros and cons, but one of the positives is being close to your family. Rose being traded to the Knicks changed that. Many are left wondering two big questions: Where will Rose’s career go from here and will it end with him wearing a Knicks uniform?

“We’re building the culture,” Rose told Begley. “We’re building the foundation now. I’m under a one-year contract so of course I want to play the rest of my life here. But it takes time, it takes patience to figure out how everyone is going to fit, if it is going to fit and going from there.”