There’s been a lot of talk about Derrick Rose this week regarding his no call no show for the Knicks’ game on Monday. This latest headline adds to the lengthy list of things that have tainted Rose’s career and caused him to miss hundreds of games throughout his 8 years in the NBA. Given Rose’s incredible talent and potential, it’s unfortunate to see his career so plagued with hardship. This week, we’re taking a look back on Rose’s career and some of the things that have stood in the way of him achieving a level of success that once seemed inevitable.
Rose is originally from Chicago where he was highly recruited by NCAA scouts before choosing the University of Memphis to attend college. Rose played one year with the Tigers where he led them to the most wins in NCAA history, their first number one ranking in 25 years, and a spot in the NCAA championship game. After his first year in Memphis, Rose declared eligibility for the 2008 draft, and was drafted by his hometown team—the Chicago Bulls—as the first pick overall.
In his first professional season, Rose was named Rookie of the Year and he went on to win the coveted MVP award in 2011 at only 22 years old—the youngest ever to receive the award. It seemed that Rose was poised to be the next superstar champion in the NBA and there were nothing but good things coming his way.
But it was not to be.
From that point on, Rose struggled mightily with injury. In March of 2011, he sustained a groin injury missing 12 games overall but his first major injury came in the 2011-2012 playoffs where he tore his ACL with about 1:20 left in the Bulls’ playoff game against the 76ers. Rose missed a total of 99 games as a result of that injury to include the remainder of the 2011-2012 playoffs, and the entire 2012-2013 regular and post season.
Later, in a 2013-2014 regular season game against the Portland Trailblazers, Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee missing a total of 76 games for that season. In the 2014-2015 season, Rose again tore the meniscus in his right knee and underwent surgery missing a total of 20 games. Rose also suffered minor injuries, and illness amounting to a total of 50 additional games missed from 2011-2016. It seemed that just when he would get healthy he would again sustain another season-ending injury, and at the end of the 2015-2016 season, Rose had missed a total of 257 career games.
After years of sustained disappointment, the Bulls decided to finally part ways with the injury-prone veteran last summer and make a move to bring Dwyane Wade onto their roster. Rose welcomed the move to New York as he had hoped this would be his ultimate destination when he became aware the Bulls were looking to trade him. Knicks’ fans were also excited to bring in some more talent to support Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, and hopefully move the team closer to playoffs.
Prosperity has continued to elude Rose even in New York as he was brought up on charges of rape weeks before training camp. The female accuser claimed that he and two of his Chicago friends broke into her apartment and gang raped her in Los Angeles. Rose and his friends were ultimately cleared of all charges just before the start of New York’s 2016-2017 season, but such a serious allegation couldn’t possibly come without some distractions from basketball.
In October of 2016, Rose began his career in New York and so far this season the Knicks are doing their best to stay near 500. They’re performing better than they have in years past with a record of 18-22 and they sit two spots out of the playoffs with just under half of the season remaining.
It would appear that Rose is fitting in fairly nicely with the Knicks bringing in 17.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. He’s shooting decent from the field at 45% but struggling from distance at just 24% from three.
But, this week’s events have left some questioning his overall commitment to his team. On Monday, Rose had a family emergency that required his presence in Chicago. Instead of notifying team officials, and taking the trip back home, Rose decided to leave with no notice and simply not show up for the Knicks’ game leaving teammates and fans clueless as to his whereabouts. Rose reached out to his team Monday night to let them know of his situation, and returned to the team’s facility on Tuesday where he was handed a fine by the Knicks. Rose did not give details as to the nature of his family emergency, but simply said it was something he had to take care of back home. With the amount of communication avenues we have at our disposal it’s unbelievable to think that Rose didn’t have the time to make a call or send a text to his coach letting him know of the situation. Nevertheless, Rose is back in uniform and with his team as they work to make their way to the post-season this year. The team will likely need a little time to regain lost trust with Rose and hopefully returns with enough of the season left for them to make the playoffs.
Not all first round draft picks turn out the way everyone hopes and Rose seems to be one of the more painful examples of this. But he’s only 28 years old and still has the potential to do amazing things with his career. Let’s hope the hardships he’s had to endure haven’t broken his spirit, but rather, have built his character and given him the ability to persevere.
Rose may have the ability to blossom into the stable point guard the Knicks have been missing if injuries and distractions can stay at bay. It sure looks like they both can use each other.