Chicago Bulls: The 5 biggest “what-ifs” in history

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30: Joakim Noah
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30: Joakim Noah /
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(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. What if Derrick Rose never tore his ACL?

“Derrick Rose. ACL.”

The above three words were from a text message I received in April 2012, the day that the Bulls faced the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their playoff series. It was heartbreaking.

Rose had been named the youngest MVP of all time in 2011 and led the Bulls to 50-wins in the lockout-shortened season of 2012. This was it. Finally, following all the post-Jordan heartbreak that Bulls fans had to endure, this was finally the best shot at winning a Championship – all the pieces were in place and the time had finally come.

However, the Basketball Gods didn’t agree. With 1:22 left in the game, and the Bulls up by 12, Rose elevated and came down awkwardly on his knee, instantly dropping to the ground. In that split second, the Bulls’ Championship hopes (and subsequently, Rose’s career progression) had been torn (no pun intended) in half…

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…what if Rose hadn’t injured himself in that game? If Tom Thibodeau hadn’t left his star player on the floor while up 12, would it have happened eventually if not in that game? Would the Bulls go on to dethrone the Miami Heat and retain former glory? It’s sad to think about the potential, but one positive as a Bulls fan is that we get to see Rose playing well in Minnesota and staying healthy on the floor.