The NBA is one of the toughest and most competitive leagues on Earth. It’s also incredibly hard on the body. Almost everyone who makes it, while tough, talented, and athletic, has dealt with some bodily issue at one point or another. That’s just a part of the game.
No one knows that better than Derrick Rose. The former MVP had a stellar career, but suffered greatly due to personal injuries. This article will take a closer look at that to show how ailments affected his trajectory, and how impactful injuries can be on even the most talented athletes.
A Rising Star
There have been many highly-touted players entering the NBA, but few of them had the hype of Rose. After a truly incredible run at Memphis, the athletic guard entered the NBA as the number one overall pick in the draft. The Bulls took him in hopes he would reinvigorate their franchise.
Early on, they were right. Outfitted with a startling amount of athleticism, an extreme vertical, as well as a great court sense, Rose thrived in the league. He scored in bunches early on, and led the Bulls to the first round of the playoffs during his rookie season.
He went into his second year with higher hopes, earning his first all-star bid, and then came out even stronger in his third. During that season, he led the Bulls all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals and took home league MVP. His future was nothing but bright.
That is, until 2012..
A Untimely Tear
Rose showed an incredible amount of promise, and he adapted to the game faster than most. Despite all of his talent, things took a rough turn during the 2011 Playoffs. While facing the 76ers, the point guard tore his ACL while trying to go up for one of his signature jumps.
The injury took him out of the playoffs for good and forced him to enter a recovery period that was set to last eight to twelve months. While he did officially come back in January of 2013, and while doctors did clear him to play two months later in March, he sat out for the entire year.
He finally returned to the court on October 5th, 2013. After a slow start, he regained his footing and began to once again pick up steam. That too came to a halt, however, when he tore his right meniscus on November 22nd against the Trailblazers.
With such a large setback, Rose was once again forced to sit out for the rest of the season.
A Tough Run
Despite all that happened, Rose was determined to return to the game. He pushed through his initial injuries and had two straight healthy seasons in 2015 and 2016. Then, while playing for the Knicks in 2017, he went down again after re-tearing his meniscus.
That led to his fourth major surgery in nine years, but it wasn’t enough to keep him away. Rose signed with the Cavaliers during his next return, and went on to play for the Timberwolves as well. After suffering a sprained ankle, he finally recovered and put up great stats once again.
During the next few years (2018-2020) Rose put up a lot of points. However, he never got back to where he started in Chicago. Though he overcame his injuries and managed to push through, he was never quite the same.
All things considered, Rose has had a productive NBA career. He’s been around much longer than most and found ways to bounce back. Still, he never reached his true potential. His injuries show that any athlete, no matter how talented, needs to be at full strength to thrive.