Taken as the first overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, Derrick Rose reinvigorated and revolutionized the point guard position, with his unparalleled agility and ability to bypass his opposition within the paint. Touted as the biggest attraction in Chicago since Michael Jordan, Rose reignited Chicago Bulls fans love for the game. In his rookie season, Rose made an immediate impact, winning rookie of the year honors. He followed up on this feat, by becoming the youngest player in NBA history to win the league MVP award, at age 22. As one examines Derrick Rose early career, it is hard not to be awestruck at his brilliant mix speed, quickness, agility, and finishing ability. He was truly a once in a generation type of basketball player, and one of the most talented point guards to ever play the game. It is all this that makes the circumstances that he has had to face and overcome, all the more tragic.
The first of Derrick Rose’ string of injuries occurred April 28th, 2012, or game one, in the first round against the Philadelphia 76r’s. In a packed arena, at the United Centre in Chicago, Rose was a key component in the Bulls win, with a game high 23 points and 9 assists. In the last few moments of the game Rose suffered a serious Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear, after landing awkwardly on an inconsequential play. Following a rigorous rehabilitation routine, Rose sacrificed the entire 2012-2013 season to ensure that he was at adequate health to compete at his usual level. Rose returned to the court in the 2013-2014 campaign ready to return to his Rose ways. However, two months into the season he suffered a torn meniscus, in his right knee this time. The injury would require surgery and sideline Rose for the remainder of the season. The string of injuries continued, from re-aggravating his right meniscus, to fracturing his orbital bone. Despite his valiant efforts to return to the standard of play that he had set so early on in his career, the Chicago Bulls decided to part ways with Rose, sending him to the New York Knicks. The trade left lingering questions of what could have been for Rose and the Chicago Bulls, if he had managed to stay healthy. in his brief spell with the Knicks, although he showed his fans glimpses of his past play, he had a less than stellar season by his standards. This past off-season, Derrick Rose was given the opportunity of a lifetime to join LeBron James, and the new look Cleveland Cavaliers. Cavalier fans are obviously delighted with his addition, as even at a fraction of his old self, Rose remains a premier point-guard in the NBA.
Regardless of whether you are a Cavaliers fan, a Knicks fan, or a Bulls fan, one thing is for certain: we are all wishing for Rose to return. Rose once stood out, as a beacon of things to come, during a time when Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, were just getting started and even Kobe Bryant graced the court. Despite the tragedies of his career so far, Derrick Rose is a testament to the power of the will. He stands as a beacon to those of us who have been struck with setbacks, time and time again. When faced with tribulations, Rose responds. When faced with adversity Rose responds. And so we must respond, with the same power of will that he has shown.
To those who are dealing with setbacks, Rose is proof that one should never give up. He is proof that when there is a will, there will always be a way. So long as one is willing to maintain flexibility in their method. Rose was once considered to be the de facto starting point guard on his team, regardless of the team. However now, it is expected that when the newly added Isiah Thomas returns from injury, he will be relegated to a bench player. Nobody -in their wildest dreams- would have ever imagined this role for Rose, given the start of his career. Yet, Rose remains focused and determined, given his new start. He demonstrates a high degree of mental fortitude and introspection, stating in an interview, “I was in a dark place years ago man. By dark place, I mean, I was playing, like revenge basketball, and that wasn’t my way of playing basketball. I enjoy competing, but when I came back it was about just trying to get back to the top and proving everybody wrong. Like, I know who I am as a man, I know who I am as a player or person. There’s no point in doing that anymore. It’s just being secure as a person and knowing who I am.”
The amazing metamorphosis of Derrick Rose can be further appreciated by this quote. Perhaps it was destined for Rose to go through such hardship, in order to develop into the inspiring individual that he is today. Early in the season, he has already won over his esteemed teammates, and the Cavalier fan base. After deep introspection and overcoming all of his suffering, Rose now has a much greater capacity for mental fortitude. He is at peace with his role on the Cavaliers, and that will enable him to perform in the way that he is most comfortable. The lesson that we can all learn from Derrick Rose is that no matter what we go through, we must be willful in our endeavors. Difficulty is just part and parcel when one endeavors to achieve great things. However it is our ability to overcome these difficulties that truly allows for us to be great. Although Rose never quote rose to the heights that were expected of him, he has met all the challenges that he has been faced with, and continues to battle and play the game he loves. Derrick Rose remains a great basketball player because he wills himself to continue to compete.
Author Bio: Hassan Abdul
Hassan Abdul is a Philosophy student from Queen’s University. He is an avid reader, runner, cyclist, and a major sports fan. Hassan is a proponent of self-empowerment and self-improvement and believes that we all have the power to achieve great things.