How Derrick Rose Became Such a Polarizing Figure in Chicago


Since becoming the league’s youngest MVP after the 2010-11 season, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has transformed into one of Chicago’s most polarizing figures in the city’s rich and illustrious sports history.

Before the 2010-11 season, Derrick Rose was rapidly becoming one of the NBA’s most exciting players. The frantic pace, the incredible movements in mid-air, and the ability to get to the basket at will made Rose one of the league’s must-see attractions.

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The fans, along with countless media members, had high expectations for Rose’s third season. Nobody’s expectations were higher than Rose.

“The way I look at it within myself, why not? Why can’t I be the MVP of the league,'” Rose asked those in attendance for the Chicago Bulls‘ media day in September 2010.

Seven months later, Rose raised the NBA MVP trophy in front of a sold-out crowd at the United Center before Game 2 of the Bulls’ second-round series with the Atlanta Hawks.

Rose was on top of the Chicago sporting world. He had became the biggest attraction in the Windy City since the Bulls brought back some guy named Michael Jordan during the 1994-95 NBA season.

Despite a conference finals loss to the Miami Heat in his MVP season, most believed the Bulls were “back”.

A torn ACL and two meniscus surgeries later, and Derrick Rose has become public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of a bulk of Chicago sports fans.

Plus, it’s not a good look for Rose when a second-year undrafted point guard from the West Coast Conference outplays you in a close-out game in the playoffs.

There are those that say, “He played in 17 games, hit a game-winner in the postseason, and for the most part, did whatever he could to contribute off another knee surgery.”

But, there are those that say,

I don’t know, Mr. Bernstein. How could anyone be a fan of a man who offered to pay for a funeral of an innocent slain infant that he didn’t know?

And then, there’s this:

That’s understandable, Mr. Bayless. I mean, the guy only wants to be able to walk after playing a game for the better part of his life and spend time with family members in his post-basketball career.

Rose’s words about his post-playing career sent many into a frenzy and believed that the 26-year-old didn’t care about the game. To be fair about the situation, Rose’s words did sound bad the way he presented them, but there’s nothing wrong for preparing yourself for a life after a sport.

Now, it’s perfectly fine to be upset with Rose’s performance on the floor at times. It’s not entirely fair because of having a serious knee surgery later in the season this year — his third in the last three years — but the frustration from fans is expected.

In his MVP season, Rose averaged 4.8 three-point attempts per game. Rose has never been known as a three-point specialist by any means, which carries over into the frustration from this season.

During the 51 games Rose played this season, he averaged a career-high 5.3 attempts from long range and shot 28 percent, his lowest three-point percentage since the 2009-10 season.

For a player to shoot that many threes with a horrible percentage, it can get frustrating. But, it’s a career-lengthening move that most fans who understand the game will understand, even if they don’t agree with it.

I mean, the guy used to be able to do this on a nightly basis:

But, did fans (and media members) really expect Rose to average 25 points and a shade under eight assists this season? Since his MVP season four seasons ago, Rose has played in 100 regular season games. He missed six weeks of this season due to his second meniscus surgery on his right knee.

And, even with the rise in three-point attempts, Rose still shot 363 shots in the painted area this season and shot 52.6 percent. Those numbers are clearly down from 2010-11, when Rose shot 765 shots in the painted area at a 52.7 percent clip in 30 more games.

But once again, there are certain people that don’t understand the aspect of battling back from serious injuries and need more listeners for their shock-jock radio shows:

Sure, Mr. Cowherd. There’s plenty of teams that are going to want to play three more years of a max-deal for a guy who is still fighting to become an elite player in the NBA again.

Oh, and there’s no metal in either one of Rose’s knees. The ACL surgery involved using a graft from Rose’s left patellar tendon and the other two surgeries involved stitches.

But, way to pick up some listeners!

There’s no defending Rose in some aspects, and that comes with any and every athlete. However, when you become a professional superstar in your home city, the expectations even after three knee injuries are almost unreachable (for some).

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