By Daniel Paiz
Minneapolis—People who become the best in their field aren’t worried about the fall, or having to work back up from the bottom.
Derrick Rose is one of those who kept shooting his shot despite what life threw at him, and 50 points later and a narrow 128-125 Wolves’ win over the Utah Jazz at the Target Center Wednesday night…Rose has returned.
From MVP to nearly out of the league
Rookie of the Year for the Chicago Bulls. All-Star selection his sophomore season (the first Chicago player sent to an All-Star game for the Bulls since Michael Jordan). Most Valuable Player in 2010-2011.
With an amazing first three years in the NBA, the sky was the limit for the next superstar in the making.
That is, until the sky was what Rose kept seeing injury after injury.
A left knee ACL tear in the 2011-2012 playoffs ended his season and kept him out for the entire 2012-2013 season.
A torn meniscus in his right knee in November of the 13-14 campaign ended his season. Again.
Another knee surgery in the 2014-15 season and an orbital bone fracture in the 15-16 season was it for Chicago, as they traded Rose to New York after the 2016 season.
A brief stint with the Knicks was followed with a year with the Cleveland Cavaliers (where Rose took time off to decide if he was going to keep playing) in 2017. In early 2018 Rose was traded to the Utah Jazz (who waived him days later).
Things looked like they could be over for the one-time MVP.
A rosy reunion
A month after being waived, Derrick Rose and Tom Thibodeau reunited. In Minnesota of all places.
The Timberwolves had (have) a young core of players and only a few veteran players to guide these youngsters. Why not keep adding former Chicago Bulls with the one-time Chicago coach?
Perhaps it was playing with familiar faces (Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson are also in Minnesota with Thibodeau). Perhaps it’s being a part of a hungry young team eager to figure things out despite clear contention between a player and management.
Either way, Rose has made the most of his return to the court.
Wednesday night versus Utah
50. 4. 6. Those are the number of points, rebounds, and assists Rose had against the team that waived him earlier this year.
Reporters and observers of this hotly contested game tonight keep writing Rose turned back the clock, but that’s not accurate.
Derrick Rose has fought through healing and growth to reach his current performance level. How many former MVPs have a goal of being this season’s 6th man of the year?
Some won’t even acknowledge that the only way they stay in the league is to be a bench player (*cough* Carmelo Anthony *cough*).
Eight games into the season, this 50-point outburst has Rose averaging 18.7 points a game. That’s what a starter averages on some teams; however, Rose will likely continue to keep coming off of the bench.
This is why people watch sports. To see comeback stories, to see resilience that is believed to be a thing of the past. Hard work and dedication absolutely still exists, but fans and viewers often don’t recognize it.
Tonight, everyone watched as a both rims in the Target Center were kissed by a Rose, early and often.
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