Thursday, June 23, 2016

Derrick Rose Was Our Guy

Derrick Rose was our guy. I say was, because yesterday, Derrick Rose was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the New York Knicks. When I first saw the news, I felt a bit of numbness. I know Derrick Rose hasn't been the player he was before his injuries, but I was still hanging on and hoping that one day he would come back and relive those former glory days. So it stopped me in my tracks when I saw it. I'm going to miss Derrick Rose.

There's not many athletes that have meant as much to Chicago sports fans as Derrick Rose. In basketball, there was nobody that could touch his popularity since Michael Jordan. And for all of Chicago sports, the only person that can compare since Jordan is probably Brian Urlacher. Derrick Rose was our guy.

Let's not forget that the Bulls had no reasonable chance to get him but still somehow won that lottery. Derrick Rose was our blessing. And he was a hometown guy. He was a super athletic point guard in a league that was fading away from the dominance of big men. He was literally the perfect superstar to bring the Bulls back to glory.

And the crazy thing is that he did it. He brought the Bulls back to levels they had not seen since MJ. With Tom Thibodeau coaching, the Bulls had a hard-nosed team that were a nightmare for any team to play. Thibs and Noah led the defense, and Derrick Rose was the offense. In their one opportunity before the injury, the Bulls cruised to the Eastern Conference Semis to take on the Miami Heat. Everyone in the world was rooting for the Bulls, and they came out and smashed the Heat by 20. They dropped the next two, but with time ticking down, Derrick Rose had a shot at the buzzer to take game four. It rimmed out, and the Bulls lost in overtime. They then barely lost at home in game 5. People remember it as a dominant 4-1 Heat win in that series, but man, had Derrick Rose just had that one break with the ball rolling in instead of out, it could've been far different.

And that pretty much sums up Derrick Rose's career to this point. It's a lot of what ifs, and so closes but not quites. I could try to go through all of them, but that would make this post incredibly long, and more importantly, I think it would just be too painful. Derrick Rose gave me so much hope, but his career has been emotionally draining to me as well. That's what happens when we care too much. It's stupid and completely illogical to care this much, but I can't help it. Derrick Rose was our guy.

God, this is really sounding like an obituary, so let's remember that he just got traded. He's gone, but we can still see him every now and then. I'll still be rooting for him, as he grasps for that glory that constantly seems just out of reach. But it won't be the same. He's not a Bull anymore. He's not a Chicago lifer. He's not the problem, and he's not the solution. But let's not forget, Derrick Rose was our guy.

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