Derrick Rose returned to Chicago on Friday night with the Detroit Pistons, his hometown and the place where he kicked off his NBA career.
While he hasn’t played for the Bulls for four years now, it’s clear the city still has love for the former league MVP.
Rose — who dropped 23 points and had seven assists off the bench in the Pistons’ 112-106 loss — received a strong standing ovation from the crowd at the United Center upon entering the game for the first time, as if he was still repping the iconic Bulls uniform.
The Chicago crowd gave D-Rose a standing O and M-V-P chants 🌹 pic.twitter.com/5QqSGXgTEw— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 2, 2019
Naturally, the feeling is mutual.
“I grew up here. I’m from the inner city,” Rose said, via the Chicago Sun Times. “Everything I represent, I think about Chicago first.”
Rose spent his first seven seasons in the league with the Bulls, who took him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft.
His first three seasons there were outstanding, too. Rose averaged more than 20 points and 6.6 assists per game, and was well on his way to living up to the hype that comes with being the top draft pick. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2009 and then became the youngest MVP in league history in 2011.
Thinks quickly went downhill, though. Rose tore his ACL in 2012, and missed the next year and a half recovering. Once he finally did return, he injured his other knee after just 10 games back. Then, in 2015, Rose tore his meniscus in his right knee again, sidelining him once more.
Rose has bounced around the league since that last injury, struggling to find a permanent home. The Bulls sent him to the Knicks after the 2015-16 season, though he only lasted one year in New York. He has since played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves before landing in Detroit on a two-year, $15 million deal this season, marking his fifth team in five years.
Rose has shown flashes of greatness in his career post-Chicago. He dropped a career-high 50 points last year with the Timberwolves, leading them past the Utah Jazz. While it’s early this season, Rose has shined off the bench — averaging 20.8 points and 6.3 assists in Detroit’s first six games.
“When I was [in Chicago], I guess I didn’t have enough time to allow the city or the office to see that,” Rose said, via the Sun Times. “But I was still learning my rhythm. I was still learning who I was as a man — as a person, too — so I had a lot on my plate.
“Now that I’m here, I have three kids, I’m settled, I’m more mature now. I’m in a different state of mind and a different place in my life right now.”
Who knows what the rest of Rose’s career will hold. He has, though, truly seen it all — from being at the top of the professional basketball world to being stuck at the bottom with a brutal string of injuries.
Regardless, the 31-year-old is enjoying his time in Detroit — a city he has quickly found reminds him of home.
“It’s funny how when I get to Detroit, it’s kind of like [Chicago],” Rose said, via the Sun Times. “It’s a hard-working town. Everybody appreciates the game. There’s a rich history of winning, and they’re used to a gritty way of playing. I think I represent that.”
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