Nobody’s saying Derrick Rose should stay in Chicago purely based on basketball X’s and O’s. Not even Chicagoans still think Derrick can return to MVP form. But yet the outrage from Rose being traded echoed through every street in Chicago.
Some people vowed to never watch the Bulls again. Others kept to the story that the front office were idiots. Everyone agreed that it was a sad day.
Because losing D-Rose wasn’t bad for basketball, but bad for the city. There’s a tendency for great players from Chicago to play here in high school, then be foreigners the rest of their careers, both college and pros. Derrick was the one that got the chance to come back home. To be the kid from Simeon, the city’s most prestigious and feared basketball powerhouse, that suited up for the Bulls. He could literally refer to home games as home games.
Nobody else had that chance. Jabari won’t. Jahlil won’t. Anthony Davis hasn’t. D-Wade didn’t. But Derrick did. He was the whole city of Chicago then, and nobody wanted that to change. There had never been a higher approval rating of a player in Chicago history than Derrick Rose in 2011-2012. Had to be near 99%. You could look on the court, and see the energy and effort he played with, and whole heartedly call him the son of your city. The product and embodiment of everyone in and around Chicago. That’s why people flocked to him-because he knew what basketball in Chicago meant, and how to represent it.
I was never a fan of Derrick the player. But to me as a Chicagoan, he’ll always hold a special spot in my basketball upbringing.