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The Stepdown: Derrick Rose’s Fall from Grace

March 16, 2018

By Ron Evangelista

From being once an MVP, Derrick Rose found himself a kicker in a deadline day trade, then got waived. He now has another chance to redeem himself in Minnesota.

How can a Rose bloom so fast yet fall so hard?

Growing up in Englewood, one of the most dangerous cities in Chicago, Derrick Rose always had the toughness in him. Sometimes however, certain circumstances hamper a man’s spirits. One man can only take in so much, even if he is one of the most electric basketball players of this generation.

Rose began his journey to Basketball in Simeon Career Academy in 2003, and by the time he first stepped on to the court, college scouts were all over him like white on rice. This kid was the real deal as he blew by defenders and slammed the ball like there was no tomorrow. His Kamikaze attitude style of play led his team to two state championships in 2006 and 2007.

College had him play for Memphis where he led them to the Final Four, and then the championship game where they ultimately lost to Kansas. It seemed that everything was going well for him and his career until he hit one of many roadblocks to his path to greatness.

A grading scandal surfaced wherein Rose purportedly had someone else answer his SATs for him, and that Memphis knew of this beforehand.   Memphis got penalized by vacating its 38 win season, while Rose moved to the NBA. As people said, Rose cheated but Memphis paid the price.

In 2008, the Chicago Bulls had the number one overall pick and there was never any question as to who they will choose. The hometown boy was coming back to the windy city and with all his might, he would carry the franchise to its former glory.

Winning rookie of the year honors and having record NBA numbers, Rose was back on track. Winning the MVP in 2012, the youngest in league history, would be the setting stone for a legendary career as he looked to solidify his status in the first round of the playoffs that year against the Sixers.

Chicago was winning Game 1, up by 12 with 1:30 left on the clock. Rose drove hard to the rim and he passed it to Carlos Boozer who in turn gave it out to Kyle Korver for a three. He missed and the Bulls ran back on defense.

Except Rose.

He went down limping, obviously in excruciating pain. He sucked the life right out of that building. It was so silent you could hear a pin drop from the rafters. The Bulls championship hopes, along with his ACL, were torn into pieces. He would miss the next 99 games and would come back in 2013, where he would this time tear his Meniscus. He missed the rest of the season as well. He would tear the same Meniscus in 2015, and it looked like it was Grant Hill all over again.

He would be traded to the Knicks in 2016, and would again tear his Meniscus in 2017. Cleveland picked him up and he was unsurprisingly, injured again. He left the Cavs to “re-evaluate himself and his basketball future.”

Every Rose has its thorn, and Derrick’s are his knees.

What could have been one of the greatest basketball players of all time was hampered by brittle bones and a bruised ego. The fans who were supposed to be there for him, his fellow people from Chicago turned their back once they knew he was damaged goods.

Having been recently signed by Minnesota and re-uniting with Tom Thibodeau, the former MVP now has a dwindling opportunity.

One last chance to prove himself to the people who left him when he needed them most and one last wager on his seemingly derailed career.

One final dance to show everyone that the Rose of Chicago, against all odds, may bloom once again.