Derrick Rose already had one of the most prominent “what if” careers in the past 20 years. MVP in 2011 (LeBron is still salty about that), and then his ACL tear in 2012 that started a long period of recovery and injuries mounting on top of each other. One of the things motivating him to stay positive during all that rehab was the fact he was fortunate to get drafted by his hometown Chicago Bulls. Being in Chicago meant a lot to Rose.
We got to see the very moment he found out he got traded and how hard that hit him. The Bulls traded him to the Knicks for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon, and Jerian Grant. It was clear they were getting rid of Rose. He coped the best he could and with time embraced he will play as a Knick.
At a certain point, it became too much for him and Rose went AWOL. Nobody, including the Knicks, didn’t know where he was. Later we learned he went to Chicago to be with his mother and was dealing with significant nostalgia and homesickness. In his new book “I’ll show you” rose shared how he lived throughout those days.
I actually loved my experience being in New York. Cool place. With the way things were the last couple of years in Chicago, I saw I needed a break.
When I left the Knicks that day in January 2017, that’s what it was about. I just needed to go home.
I went to the crib with my mom. Everybody came over to the house to talk. That’s the first time, one of the few times, where we sat down as a whole family and had a serious discussion like that.
I had decided I was done playing. I saw the same thing that was happening with the Bulls was going on with New York. I could tell that the season wasn’t going to be the season everyone thought, that I thought. I didn’t know if I wanted to hoop anymore. Especially when it started to feel like a business. Of course, you know it’s a business. They always say that. But you know it’s also hoopin’. But it had started to feel like all business, no joy. That’s when I wanted out. I wasn’t having fun.
Derrick stressed the importance of his family to him and how they were the ones that convinced him to go back to New York and play. HE would later have a renaissance, most notably with the Timberwolves and his amazing 52 point performance on October 31.
To think we were so close to never see him on the court.