We all remember when Derrick Rose won the MVP award as if it was just yesterday. It was the 2010-2011 season when Rose became the youngest MVP in NBA history.
After winning that award, it was commonly thought that Rose would go down as one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game of basketball. Unfortunately, as many know, following his MVP season, Rose tore his ACL in game one of the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs. Not only was it a sad injury, with Rose approaching the peak of his career, but it was controversial too.
At the time of his injury, the Chicago Bulls were leading by 12 points, 99-87 with just over 1 minute remaining in the game. When you are up by a lot at the end of a game, it’s common for the bench players to come out and give the starters a rest. However, Tom Thibodeau, who was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls at the time, decided that Rose should finish the game. Should Thibodeau have rested Rose in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, the infamous Derrick Rose injury may never have happened.
After Derrick’s return from his ACL injury, Bulls fans weren’t getting the same level of play that they received from him prior to his injury. Rose primarily used his athleticism to his advantage in his prime, as he wasn’t the greatest shooter. But after the injury, Rose couldn’t use the same athleticism that he once had. So, after his 2015-2016 campaign, the Chicago Bulls traded him to the New York Knicks because they didn’t feel that he was going to have a bright future in the NBA. They decided to trade him while he still had trade value, in order to get key pieces in return.
Rose turned out to be quite a factor for the Knicks (29-53): he averaged 18 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 4.4 APG while shooting 42.7% from the field. However, these numbers could be a little bit misleading, as he did so while playing over 32 minutes a night. But Rose was still doing pretty well on a struggling Knicks team.
The next year, Rose signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and that’s when things started to go downhill. More and more injuries started piling up for him and he only played 16 games as he grew less athletic. During his short season in Cleveland, Rose averaged 9.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.6 APG. He was then traded to Minnesota the next season at the trade deadline, but only played nine games that season due to more injuries, and averaged a measly 5.8 PPG, 0.7 RPG, and 1.2 APG. Being at an all-time low, Rose planned to do whatever he could to improve his playing abilities.
Many fans started calling Rose “the first MVP to not make the hall of fame”, and now it’s a common opinion throughout NBA basketball. But just as the season started, Rose showed the world that he’d been working tirelessly on his shooting.
This helped him not rely as much on his athleticism to score the ball. Now that he’s evolved with the game of basketball, he went from being a bad 3-point shooter to an excellent shooter who can create space with ease off the dribble. It’s surely helped the Timberwolves a bunch this season and is helping him become more relevant to NBA fans in a positive way.
Rose shocked everybody in the first week of the NBA season, scoring a career-high, 50 points. He became the only Timberwolves player besides Corey Brewer to score 50 in a game. More importantly, he led the team to a big win in a close game, making big shots down the stretch. He was very emotional after the game, and rightfully so.
Rose is now aiming to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, and possibly the Most Improved Player award as well. The 2011 MVP says his goal is to become the best bench player in the league. And he certainly falls under that category so far this season. Rose is averaging 19.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 4.4 APG, shooting a career-high 49.8% from the field while playing just under 30 minutes a night.