The unfortunate turn that Derrick Rose’s career has taken has been well documented. Whether you are a fan of Rose or a fan of basketball, it has been near painful at times to watch the struggles of the former MVP. It seemed that the basketball world was on the verge seeing a potential Hall of Fame career, a la Penny Hardaway, and until this year, Grant Hill, diverted due to injury. His time in New York produced decent numbers 18.0 ppg and 4.4 apg) but not the type of impact that produced wins on the court and Derrick Rose as a Cleveland Cavalier not only didn’t look right but it was an awkward fit on the court. An ankle injury, and likely the toxic environment of that team, precipitated him taking some time off that was reported spent comtemplating his basketball future. After being traded to and subsequently released by the Utah Jazz, he was signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves and he played well last season,including in the playoffs, where he averaged 14.2 points, 2.6 assists and 1.8 rebounds in only 23.8 minutes per game.
Rose looked good in the preseason and even through the first 7 games of the season, but one of the things that stood out to me what how he moved around on the court. He appeared to glide up and down the court in a manner that was closer to his vintage self and not the seemingly labored movements that I had largely seen in the post injury campaigns.
As a fan of the game of basketball, it was tremendous watching Derrick Rose’s evening of basketball brilliance against the Timberwolves Wednesday night. Every play he made and each of his career-high 50 points (including the go ahead bucket with 30 seconds left) served as the proverbial “stick it” to every person who wrote Rose off, who made inappropriate jokes and comments or reveled in his struggles. It was clear by reactions of his teammates that they understood and appreciated the persistence and tenacity he has displayed over the past several years. They were genuinely happy for Rose and it showed in his his response; I have seen players win MVP awards and their teammates that were not that jubilant for them.
Players from around the league shared in the outpouring of congratulations for Rose’s evening, showing he is quite respected around the Association.
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🗣🗣🗣🗣So extremely HAPPY AND PROUD of you bro!!! I seen it first hand how much you worked and dedicated on your body, craft, mind, etc etc just to play 1 game at a time! Perseverance is a mutha and this is the ABSOLUTE perfect definition of it!! Salute Bro! #DRoseforPresident🙏🏾
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) November 1, 2018
Every Basketball fan in the world should feel good for DRose. Tonite was an example of never giving up on yourself and when others believe in you. Amazing things can happen. I’m smiling like i scored 50! Congrts to a good dude!
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 1, 2018
D🌹!!! Incredible. He’s overcome so much. I couldn’t be happier to see him ballin. @drose
— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) November 1, 2018
s/o to @drose for the 50 piece tonight!!!
— Chris Paul (@CP3) November 1, 2018
This is so dope Man! Can’t imagine the down days, weeks, months and years he went through. 50 ball!! So much respect bro 🙏🏽🙏🏽 https://t.co/s42i7Zp63I
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) November 1, 2018
Have a night DRose!! Inspiring for anyone who went through injuries (and more)!
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) November 1, 2018
That’s unbelievable D-Rose 50, wow keep ballin’…
— Vince Carter (@mrvincecarter15) November 1, 2018
D rose!!! One of the greatest dudes out there!! He deserves all the praise he’s getting right now!! Congrats homie!!
— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) November 1, 2018
Man couldn’t be more happy for d 🌹. Can only imagine the emotions after what he’s gone through. Well deserved. Hard work is undefeated 🙌🏾
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) November 1, 2018
Can't let the night past w/o mentioning my guy Pooh. You're even more special off the court than you are on. That's why the real ones who root for you, root for you all the way through. Thank you for being an inspiration #DROSE 👏🏾
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) November 1, 2018
Great to see D Rose dominate!!! https://t.co/CMrx9ye6nz
— Al Horford (@Al_Horford) November 1, 2018
@drose LEGENDARY!!!!! Happy for you bro!!!!!!
— Tristan Thompson (@RealTristan13) November 1, 2018
50 ball for D. rose. Unreal. Happy for him!!! Legends never die
— Evan Turner (@thekidet) November 1, 2018
What a night for D Rose! He deserves it more than anyone after everything he fought through 💪💪💪!
— Nikola Vucevic (@NikolaVucevic) November 1, 2018
DERRICK ROSE 🌹 50-Ball !!!!!!! @drose
— Bam Adebayo💥 (@Bam1of1) November 1, 2018
— Bismack Biyombo (@bismackbiyombo) November 1, 2018
I still love Derrick Rose
— Francis Kaminsky III (@FSKPart3) November 1, 2018
Happy for @drose man awesome to see!
— Myles Turner (@Original_Turner) November 1, 2018
— Jason Terry (@jasonterry31) November 1, 2018
It’s great to see #Drose playing like he has this season…
— Marreese Speights (@Mospeights16) November 1, 2018
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 1, 2018
At least for one night, fans ( and apparently plenty around the Association) have got what they have been waiting for since April 28, 2012- a glimpse of the Derrick Rose that was thought to be long gone. With this career performance, considering all the tumult he has endured prior to it, has given basketball a memory for years to come and as a basketball fan, I hope it is not the last.