For one spooky night, Derrick Rose turned back the clock. He rose from the dead. He brought tears to faces across Chicagoland. He defined a word that everyone truly enjoys, nostalgia.
Derrick Rose scored 50 points on Halloween night. The grizzly veteran channeled youth deep down within him to put up a career high in points. I think you need to take in the highlights and postgame interviews to see just how much this meant to the kid from Chicago.
This meant everything to Derrick Rose. He has had the definition of a roller coaster career. From Rookie of the Year and MVP to injury after injury after injury. He continues to battle and fight after each and every single one. He has gone from the top of the NBA to someone who currently is playing for the veteran minimum. It was truly amazing to watch Derrick Rose play basketball on Wednesday night. He was out there draining three pointers, who is this guy?!?!
Derrick Rose is one of the most beloved athletes in the history of Chicago sports. That is saying a lot. Chicago has been blessed with plenty of sports legends throughout the years. Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Mike Ditka, Scottie Pippen, and many more. One could argue Derrick Rose is the most beloved Chicago athlete for this generation. We got to see the tail end of Michael Jordan’s career but we never truly got to enjoy him playing basketball. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane brought multiple championships to this town but hockey plays second fiddle in Chicago. Brian Urlacher is another one but he is not truly from Chicago. Derrick Rose was always ours. He grew up here. He loved Chicago and we loved him back. He was the most exciting player in basketball. He was better than Russell Westbrook. Derrick Rose going down with a torn ACL was one of those “I remember where I was” moments for Chicago sports fans. For me, I was sitting in a Culvers near Eau Claire, Wisconsin on the way back from a baseball tournament in college. Chicagoans went along for the journey with Derrick. #TheReturn was a simple hashtag of hope. Derrick Rose scoring 50 points on Wednesday hit us all so hard because we choose to remember Derrick for all the good times. He is a walking symbol of what could have been. He helped create in my opinion the greatest video on YouTube.
The Chicago Bulls teams of the 2010s were sneaky one of the more lovable teams in Chicago sports history as well. The city rallied around them. Derrick Rose. Joakim Noah. Taj Gibson. Jimmy Butler. Luol Deng. The Bench Mob. Those teams just worked hard and the results showed it. They were the best team in the East and were a serious threat to LeBron and the Heat. Sadly, injuries and of course LeBron being who he is led to the Bulls never reaching their full potential. It was awesome to see Taj Gibson out on the floor with him while he scored 50 points. He has been with Derrick almost his entire career. It was a bummer that Jimmy decided to be a diva and miss this game. It would have been cool to at least see him on the bench cheering Derrick on. As we all know, Jimmy isn’t the same anymore so that is expected. Derrick and Jimmy were never the bet of friends but this was at least very cool to see.
At the end of the day, Derrick Rose will always be welcome in Chicago. He will always get a standing ovation every time he comes back. Fans still riot anytime a player tries to take #1. He will forever be a kid from Chicago, a Chicago Bull. I cannot thank Derrick Rose enough for the joy he brought into my life for those couple years. For one night, the world got to see what Chicago has grown to love. For one night, Derrick showed us the true meaning of nostalgia. For one night, Derrick showed us that hard work truly trumps everything in life.
Thank you Derrick.