Derrick Rose gives Chicago Bulls fans something else to cheer for

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 10: LeBron James /

Derrick Rose is giving Chicago Bulls fans something, or someone, to root for this season.

After winning the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2008-09, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to win the MVP award and leading the Bulls to the best record in the NBA in back-to-back years, Derrick Rose will always be a guy we support no matter what team he is playing for.

He’s still our guy. He always will be.

It all started before Rose’s injury-plagued seasons.

With a jaw-dropping playing style involving crafty finishes, thunderous dunks and clutch shots, Rose had the Bulls fan base on fire. We loved him. How could we not? And not only was he fun to  watch, but he had the team winning. That was something Bulls fans hadn’t seen since that one guy that wore No. 23 suited up for them.

I thought Rose was going to deliver Chicago a championship or two (or three, or four, or five) but after that first major injury, things were never the same for the former MVP.

The Bulls were tied for the best record in the league in the 2011-12 season. They were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference going into the playoffs and Chicago was filled with excitement. Many thought the Bulls were favorites to take down the villainous Miami Heat superteam. (If there’s one guy Bulls fans rarely cheer for, it’s LeBron James.)

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In the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Bulls were playing the Philadelphia 76ers and you know what happened next. They were up by 12 points with a little over a minute left. Rose had the ball at the top of the key and drove — something he would usually do — only this time, it ended in tragedy for the young star.

When Rose performed his hop step through the lane, his knee gave out. Bulls fans are all too familiar with this play. It seems to be the first domino falling in what would be a tough few years to come for Derrick Rose.

I always felt bad for D-Rose. His talent was stifled by his own bad luck.

This forced the Bulls front office to make a decision that was best for the team going forward, but heartbreaking for fans.

In July 2016, the Derrick Rose rollercoaster officially came to a close for the Bulls. They traded him to New York for Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon.

This was the best move for the organization. Rose was an uncertainty. The Bulls had a young and budding star, Jimmy Butler, and didn’t want to squander his best years by continuing to base their team around someone who was frequently injured.

So, just like that, it was over. After all the years of extreme ups and downs, Derrick Rose was no longer a Bull.

Rose, in my opinion, had a very good year for the Knicks last season. He averaged approximately 18 points, four rebounds and four assists on 47 percent shooting. Keep in mind that this was on a team that was an absolute joke. Imagine the kind of love he would have gotten if he put up those numbers on a relevant team that made the playoffs?

While 18/4/4 isn’t quite the same MVP-caliber state line many fans would like to see out of him, those are still very quality numbers. Numbers that most winning teams would love to have as a part of their roster.

Well, fast forward to this past summer and Derrick Rose supporters finally got their wish. Rose signed with the Cavs this summer on a one-year, $2.1 million deal.

Part of me was heartbroken because, as a Bulls fan, it’s going to be extremely hard for me to cheer for a LeBron James-led team. Ugh.

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  • But, a bigger part of me is extremely thrilled for Derrick Rose. After all he has went through in his NBA career, he deserves to play on a team that has a chance of winning and will put his skills to good use.

    LeBron makes everybody better, there’s no secret about that. So, for the first couple months while Isaiah Thomas is out with an injury, Rose will likely be in the starting lineup, playing next to the best player in the world, where for once in his career, he won’t be asked to do too much.

    This should mean a huge jump for his efficiency, even if there are some dips in his overall scoring.

    Then, when Thomas returns from injury and Rose slides to the bench, he will have a chance to lead a second unit loaded with talent that could be starting on many other teams in the league. And his competition will be other teams’ second units.

    I’m expecting a nice statistical season for Derrick Rose, possibly leading him to a Sixth Man of the Year award (assuming he plays enough games on the bench to be eligible). But, perhaps what I’m most excited about, is seeing Derrick Rose play meaningful basketball again.

    The Cavs will make the Finals this season. I’m confident in that. Derrick Rose probably won’t be starting when it comes down to playoff time, but benches matter in the postseason. Rose will be getting good minutes in the playoffs, and hopefully in the Finals, on the biggest stage in basketball.

    This is a chance for Derrick Rose to show the world he is still capable of playing at a high level.

    While the Bulls will be losing nearly every game in hopes of acquiring a top pick in next years draft, Derrick Rose will be a vital piece on a team competing for a championship.

    Like I said earlier, Derrick Rose is still our guy and always will be.

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    Rose has my full support this year and I want him to win a championship. If that means a LeBron James-led team has to win it also, then so be it.