Derrick Rose may have become a journeyman in recent years, but he will always be remembered for what he did with the Bulls. The Chicago native led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, and was by far the city’s favorite athlete from the moment he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2008.
His greatest accomplishment, though, was winning the 2010-11 MVP award. He was the youngest player ever to win the league’s greatest individual honor, and is the only Bull other than Michael Jordan ever to do so at all. His career hasn’t gone as planned since, but with his Detroit Pistons traveling to Chicago Friday for a divisional matchup with his former Bulls, his hometown fans showered him with MVP chants to remind him of better days.
Rose has been subject to such chants in the past. This is not his first road game in Chicago since leaving the Bulls, and very few players in all of basketball are more beloved by their former fans than Rose is. Still, Rose has been a backup for the past several years. It would be easy to forget that he was ever one of the best players in basketball. For one night, the basketball world was reminded.
And so far this season, it has been hard to ignore. Rose has averaged 20.4 points per game for Detroit so far, his highest total since leaving the Bulls. In a weak Eastern Conference, he will push for an All-Star selection if this keeps up. Maintaining his current volume when Blake Griffin returns will be difficult, but he is Detroit’s best perimeter scorer at least. He will have touches, and his 25 percent mark from behind the 3-point line is certain to improve.
Rose will never be an MVP again, but after years of anonymity, he is at least a highly productive player once more. There isn’t exactly a catchy chant for that, so Bulls fans serenaded him with his past accomplishments in the hopes of pushing him toward a better future.