We all know the struggles Rose has been through these past few years. It’s been 7 years since we saw the real Derrick Rose put up crazy numbers and was easily one of the most likable people in the league. But I think this 50 point performance means so much more.I remember walking into my middle school gym for tryouts nervously stepping onto the court. But in my mind I had nothing to fear. I obviously sucked but to me, having the shoes of my favorite player (the very first shoes he released) was enough for me to give it my all, no matter the circumstances, and that’s what Rose has shown us throughout his career. Despite his shortcomings due to injuries, he never deterred.
I think all of us, yes, all of us, fail to even recognize that in-spite of him not being the explosive Rose we once saw from 2008-2012, he has been capable of putting up decent numbers still and take good shots. Since 2014-2015, Rose’s lowest field goal percentage was .405. I know that’s not the sexiest number, but he still gave Chicago that season 17.7 ppg, along with 5 assists. Good numbers, especially coming off a second knee injury in 3 years. He missed 154 games between ’12-14. And for 3 seasons after that with stints in Chicago and New York, he averaged 17.3 ppg. But in last years underwhelming season, he suffered a sprained ankle and even considered retiring because he was tired of being injured.
With people understanding if he quit, Rose went back to the gym and worked on his game and ended up playing the last 8 games for Minnesota under his once time coach in Chicago: Tom Thibodeau ( he played a part in Rose’s early injury woes overworking him). Even as I say that, Thibs has all the confidence in the world for Rose, even saying recently that a healthy Rose is “One of the best players in the League.” We all spit out our medium iced coffees from Dunkin after that line. But, look at us now, in awe of Rose’s 50 point performance last night on 19 of 31 shooting.
Having said all that, I do genuinely root for Rose. Yes, I’ve been critical of him over the years but it’s because he was one of my idols growing up and now that I got to see a vintage Rose performance, I can ease up on him a bit because I know he still has those performances in him, even if he isn’t the explosive guy we all once knew him as. He’s a good guy with a great work ethic. I don’t expect him to replicate what he’s doing at the moment. But I hope he’s at least at 17 ppg performer and plays a big role for a young Minnesota team. But for now, let’s sit back and watch what hopes to be a good season for Rose.