Derrick Rose made his return to the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Oct. 29 when the Bulls took on the New York Knicks. Rose scored 13 points and dished out five assists over 21 minutes. Then, only two days later, on Oct. 31, he left the game halfway after spraining both ankles and sat out the game on Nov. 1, though he later announced that the sprains were not serious.
While this isn’t the superstar that many remember, it’s a step in the right direction. Regardless of how short he played for, Rose showed several flashes of his former self throughout the game against the Knicks, Ashwin Dandapani ’17 said.
Last November, Chicago basketball fans had suffered a major blow when Rose, star player and leader of the Chicago Bulls basketball team, tore the meniscus in his right knee. This left him benched for the remainder of the season shortly after he had returned from a torn ACL, which forced him for off the court for two years.
While Rose was often ridiculed by the media and NBA fans for a three year gap, many fans supported him in taking his time to recover, Dandapani said.
“I’m in utmost support of Rose’s decision to take his time to recover to ensure he did it right,” Dandapani said. “He knew what his fans expected from him, and he was patient in making sure that he was going to be able to be the player the Bulls need.”
As a whole, fans seem to have lost faith in Rose. In an ESPN poll conducted, 60 percent of respondents believe the Bulls will be unable to win a championship with Rose, despite their “contender” status from many expert analysts such as Kyle Neubeck of “Sports Illustrated.”
Rose very likely faced a number of emotional troubles alongside his physical ones, having to cope not only with outrage from fans, but having to mentally deal with himself after the injuries, said Patrick Ambrose, varsity boys basketball head coach.
“After an injury, we will often see a swing of emotions among players such as anger and frustration,” Ambrose said. “Especially among the higher level players though, once their competitive nature kicks in, they can definitely recover and overcome their circumstance, because that ethic is what got them to that level in the first place.”
To overcome his injury, Rose underwent surgery on his knee and spent several months in rehab before he returned to practicing with his teammates.
He spent a lot of time working on his knees in particular. The meniscus, which is what Rose had injured, acts as a cushion and source of lubrication for the knee joint, said physical therapist Theresa Even. Before his injury, Rose’s dominance on the court stemmed greatly from his ability to move quickly and in sudden bursts, making him a nightmare to guard. It was his reliance on his knees that left many questioning his ability to make a full recovery given the nature of the injury, Dandapani said.
Over the summer, Rose represented the United States in the International Basketball Federation World Cup by playing for the USA Basketball team, using this as a launching pad into the NBA season. Rose averaged eight points, one rebound, one assist and one steal per game with the US team, considerably lower than his stats during the regular season, though in Team USA he wasn’t running the show as he’s used to.
“Based on his performance with the USA Basketball Team over the summer, during this season we can expect a lot of inconsistency from him,” said Ambrose.
That said, Ambrose believes that with the already strong core of Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic, Rose’s addition to the roster makes the Bulls legitimate contenders for the championship title this year.