The name of Derrick Rose reminds NBA fans of a sombre tune, associated with heartbreak and a long-lasting sigh of ‘what could’ve been…’ Rose burst into the NBA scene like a meteorite set to destroy everything in sight, but eventually fizzled out into obscurity without fulfilling his true potential. The glorious rise of the Chicago Bulls star made his downfall that much more painful for fans around the league, especially in Chicago. A recently resurfaced clip of Michael Jordan from years ago revealed that the Bulls legend also had sky-high hopes for the Derrick Rose-led Chicago Bulls of the 2010s.
The Bulls roster disintegrated quickly after their last dance in 1998 as the upper management pushed for a core rebuild of the team. Soon, the Big Three of the team who championed the three-peats in the 90s, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, were gone. The idea of a rebuild turned out to be a massive failure as the Bulls struggled to win games in the following years, leave alone making a push for the playoffs.
Their 49-point game against the Miami Heat in April of 1999 succinctly summarizes the state of the team at the time as they recorded the lowest scoring game in NBA history. The Chicago side went further downhill from there in the next few years, languishing at the rock-bottom of the table with pitiful records. Just when it seemed like the only hope for the Bulls were relics from the past, they drafted the hometown hope, Derrick Rose, first overall in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Michael Jordan had high hopes for prime Derrick Rose and the 2010s’ Chicago Bulls
The drafting of Derrick Rose injected renewed enthusiasm in the Bulls. His explosive athleticism, brilliant shot-selection and crafty playmaking made the 6’3 guard seem like an unprecedented talent. Rose slowly started improving Chicago’s record, while simultaneously vying for individual accolades.
After bagging the Rookie of the Year award in 2009, he earned an All-Star rep in his second season, upgrading it to a starter spot in the East in 2010. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Rose would raise expectations to an all-time high after winning the league MVP award in 2011.
That year the Bulls would secure the best record in the league, ending the season 62-20. Chicago fans would finally celebrate the arrival of a worthy successor to MJ, who can take them to the promised land once again. The Bulls ended up losing to the stacked Miami Heat of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals. However, that hardly deterred fans.
On the contrary, Michael Jordan’s enthusiasm for the team in this resurfaced clip echoed around the league, thanks to the exploits of prime Derrick Rose. In this clip shared by a Bulls fan page, Jordan revealed his high expectations from the Bulls during a speech at United Center, “You guys[Chicago fans] are in store for a lot of other Championships. You look at this team[the then Bulls] tonight…Don’t be surprised if you gon’ have 6 more coming.”
Michael Jordan thought the Prime Derrick Rose #Bulls could’ve won 6 championships pic.twitter.com/XTa60bu8wF
— Die-Hard Chicago Bulls Fans (@DieHardCBfans) July 11, 2023
Chicago fans were not surprised at all by the prospect of six more Championships, or by the Bulls topping the East table once again next season. However, they were shocked beyond repair after Derrick Rose was forced to end his season because of an ACL tear in the first game of the 2012 playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. Rose would never be the same again, and nor would be the Chicago Bulls.
Rose would never regain his prime
Derrick Rose would never recover to be the same again. He would injure his right knee with a meniscus tear during the 2013-14 season, which will further set him back.
After two more underwhelming seasons in Chicago, Rose would be traded to the New York Knicks in 2016. The 34-year-old currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, after changing quite a few teams over the past few years.
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