Originally posted on May 8, 2013, this was the first article I have ever written.
April 28, 2012 was the worst day to be a Chicago Bulls fan. An NBA fan. A Derrick Rose fan.
The 76ers cut the Bulls’ 20-point lead to 12 when Derrick rose (pun intended) and landed awkwardly on his left leg; and I just remember Kevin Harlan saying, “Derrick is down, holding on to his knee, holding on to his knee and down.”
It was an injury that changed the landscape of the NBA playoffs that season. An injury that brought a lot of Chicago Bulls fans into tears, into disappointment, into a standstill. The 2010-2011 MVP was hobbled by injuries during that season, and the torn ACL was just the cherry on top of the most frustrating year for the young star.
He underwent a successful injury and most doctors had him cleared in between 9-12 months. Sources inside the Bulls organization had thought Rose would return just around the All-Star break. Boozer and Noah were having great seasons. Luol Deng was, again, the consistent star of the Bulls, and Jimmy Butler was coming into his own. The loss of Asik, Korver and Watson (“the Bench Mob”) were forgotten when Belinelli, Robinson and Gibson started to play fantastic and the Bulls’ pesky defense became one of the top 3 in the league. All they needed was Derrick Rose.
But 12 months after the unfortunate injury, he still hasn’t played one single game.
I remember back in February, I would open my laptop and google “Derrick Rose update” everyday. No joke.
I read that he was already cleared by doctors. So I had my fingers crossed that time that his return was imminent. Until he said he can’t dunk yet.
I watched a thunderous pre-game dunk he did in Oklahoma (and in Detroit) and I thought to myself he should be back in the court in no time.
Until he said he’s just at 80%.
I prayed that D-Rose would join the Bulls to stop the visiting Miami Heat’s 27 win streak.
Until reports surfaced that he would not play at all this year.
Much like his recovery from a very dangerous and a “could-be” career-ending injury, waiting on Derrick Rose was just as frustrating. He’s always been my favorite player, alongside Rondo and Kobe.
I was one of the few people who wanted Chicago to draft the hometown hero over the #1 rated Michael Beasley, seeing that Rose was the better fit and the better player for the Bulls. I was also one of the few who faithfully rooted for the Chicago Bulls against Boston during the 2009 NBA Playoffs.
I was one of the few people who believed in him when he said that he would win the MVP during the 09-10 season…
– One of the few who still believed that he would return.
In a season where I saw Rondo (torn ACL) cry because he wanted to play so bad on a home game against Ray Allen and the Miami Heat, and Kobe (torn Achilles) cry during a post-game interview against Golden State because he can’t believe his season was over, the return of Rose would have given me hope and reason that this season is not the worst one ever in the history of the NBA.
And yet, even after the Bulls moved on to round 2 to face the defending champions, Miami Heat, Derrick Rose was there… on the bench in a crisp suit and tie.
Reports have the MVP returning in Game 3 when the series moves back to Chicago, but one thing I learned about Derrick Rose updates is that it’s never true until you see it.
So far, nothing has happened. But I’m still one of the few who’s believing.
– David Gamboa
(image from: http://www.basketwallpapers.com/USA/Derrick-Rose/derrick-rose-mvp-jersey-widescreen-wallpaper.php)