On this date, what seems a long time ago back in 2011, rising Chicago Bulls superstar Derek Rose won the regular-season MVP award at the age of 22 years old. He became the youngest player in history to receive the award after collecting 113 out of 120 possible first-place votes.
Rose joined Michael Jordan as the only players to receive the award in Chicago Bulls history. At 22 years and 6 months old, Rose also became the youngest player to receive the award (Wes Unseld, formerly the youngest MVP, won the award in 1968–69 at age 23 years, 2 months).
Derrick Rose was born in 1988, the year Wes Unseld was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, so there was no reason to expect that the Chicago Bulls’ all-star point guard would be familiar with the only player to win a league’s most valuable player award while representing the Bullets/Wizards franchise.
Rose, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2008 NBA draft, boldly announced his candidacy in training camp when he asked, “Why can’t I be the MVP of the league?” He earned the award — receiving 113 out of a possible 121 first-place votes — after propelling the Bulls (62-20) to the league’s best overall record and also inspiring a 21-game improvement, while averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists, and 4.1 rebounds in this third season. He joined Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to average at least 25 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds.
Every Derrick Rose fan remembers game 1 of the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers when Rose injured his left knee while trying to jump. It's safe to say he never fully recovered from this injury since he was never the same afterward.
Hopefully Rose found new sanctuary with the Minnesota Timberwolves where he proved he could still be a valid asset to any team who knows how to fit him into their system. It's definitely not a surprise that Tom Thibodeau, who is the head coach and president of basketball operations in Minnesota recognized Rose's potential and was able to implement him into the existing system which proved Rose could still play serious playoff basketball.
We'll probably never see Rose again as an MVP, but we'll always remember his tremendous plays during those couple of season with the Bulls when he was a legitimate force in the NBA.