Dear, Derrick Rose
I remember growing up hearing “Derrick Rose is going to be great” and “Derrick Rose is the next big thing.” I remember all my friends wanting to shoot threes and all I wanted to drive into the lane and lay it up because that's what you did. I pictured stepping on that Chicago Bulls floor playing alongside you. Assisting you all game long, then hitting a buzzer beater three to win the game. It’s been eight years since you were drafted and I still see how you influenced my game. Though even if it was prioritising watching you play it would be hard because of all your injuries. But those injuries weren't your fault, you were just a victim to the sad fact that a few injuries can tear apart a sports career no matter how good you are.
I remember when I found out you first tore your acl. I was at the barber shop waiting to get my haircut, reading the newspaper, and the front headline was “Derrick Rose possibly out for season.” You getting hurt felt like I was getting pounded into the ground, and you being out for the season was the nail in the coffin. After that I stopped watching and following basketball because there was no point to if there was no way you were going to win a ring.
Eventually I started following basketball again but you were on your third or fourth injury by then so I decided I needed a new favorite player. I hated Lebron James because I’m from Ohio so I was still bitter at him that he left. Steph Curry wasn’t popular yet, but even now I don’t like him. I wanted to follow a player that was not only fun to watch but a player who composed himself well on and off the court. I decided I wanted to follow Kevin Durant as my favorite player and became a Oklahoma City Thunder fan.
Every year you would try to make a come back and I would like you way more than Durant but soon after you’d come back you’d get injured again leaving me with Durant. It was really discouraging to see your career slowly slipping away and knowing you had such little control over it. All you could do was rehabilitate yourself and try not to get hurt again. But it seem like every time you tried that you body would just fail you. Maybe it was because you were coming back too early. Maybe it was because every time you got injured you just became a little weaker. I can’t know for sure because I’m not you but I know it must have been really hard on you.
Last season, the 2015-2016 season, was your first full year back. You stayed healthy for the most part except for a few minor pulls and strains. You played ok for your first year back averaging fourteen points a game and almost five assists a game. It was solid for your first year back but I think you were playing it safe and not being aggressive for that season which I think was smart and now this next season you can start to get back to your old self.
It was cool to see that a kid that grew up in chicago left for a year then his hometown drafted him back. You were the hometown kid I thought they’d never turn their back on. But then the rumors started surfacing about you going to the D-League. Those rumors quickly died down because that would be absurd if it happened. But then something I thought would never happen. You were traded from the Chicago Bulls to the New York Knicks. I couldn't believe it. The city turned their back on the hometown kid. The kid that boosted the overall performance of the team to new heights. The kid that literally gave the health of his body for the team. They just threw you out and didn’t give it a second thought.
But I’m also excited to see how you are going to do on the new Knicks team. It looks like a good team and hopefully you feel like you’ll start to be able to get back to the old you this season. If there's one thing I could take away from your career it’s that you didn’t give up even when it looked about impossible to go on you didn’t give up.