Welcome to Derrick Rose Week on NBC Sports Chicago. It's celebrating a memorable time.
Rose's career is like a play in three acts. All five games broadcast this week come from Act 1.
That's the one that seemed too good to be true at times.
Just think about it: The Bulls cashed in 1.7 percent to win a draft lottery they had no business winning to draft the hometown kid who embraced representing his city. Rose then became Rookie of the Year, the first All-Star since Michael Jordan and the youngest most valuable player in NBA history.
Hollywood might reject that script. But we'll gladly show it on our station.
Act 2 represented the drama inherent in any good story.
You remember: Rose came to a simple jump stop in the league's first 2012 playoff game for the top-seeded Bulls, ascended and, upon landing, crumpled to the ground, clutching his left knee. An MRI exam that April 28 afternoon confirmed the unfathomable: That unique combination of speed and strength, which had once shouldered the championship dreams of a city, had torn his ACL.
Rose's shoe company then filmed an advertising campaign called "The Return," which didn't feature one. When Rose sat out the entire 2012-13 season to fully recover, now common practice in the era of load management, a vocal segment of the fan base turned on the hometown hero.
When Rose's comeback ended after just 10 games on another seemingly benign play - a back cut and torn right meniscus on Nov. 22, 2013 in Portland Ore. - the denouement of his demise for some fans occurred.
Then, in June 2016, the once-unthinkable occurred: The Bulls traded Rose to the Knicks.
Act 3 is still unfolding, on pause since the Pistons team for which he averaged 18.1 points and 5.6 assists in just 26 minutes per game this season didn't qualify for the NBA's July restart in Orlando, Fla. It's quite the reclamation story.
Rose, who averaged 18 points and put up a 50-point game for the Timberwolves last season, has become a symbol of perseverance and persistence. For someone whose love for the game wrongfully got questioned as he sat out 2012-13, he's rewriting the narrative.
Not that Rose ever concerned himself with such matters. Rose is one of those old-school souls, the stoic one who may not always say much but is a supreme listener and observer. Famously loyal, he has kept his circle small.
Rose also has moved through all three acts of his career with a quiet but supreme self-confidence, the type that reflects someone comfortable in his own skin and at peace with his standing in the sport.
There's an old adage in the NBA: Players always know. They know who's special and who is not.
Rose carries cache amongst his peers not only for what he accomplished before his succession of knee injuries and surgeries but for what he can do now. The outpouring of love and support from players around the league on social media for his 50-point night showed that. And young players still talk about pre-ACL tear Rose highlights.
Rose had missteps. Many of them were verbal. And if Rose said something controversial - the comment that he wanted to preserve his body for post-career business meetings comes to mind - and got challenged about it, well, forget it. He'd double down.
That's the defiance and stubbornness that's also part of his complete package.
But for those who painted Rose as a poor public speaker, the more accurate description might be a reluctant one. Anyone present on May 3, 2011, can attest to his eloquence.
That's the day Rose accepted his MVP trophy in a suburban hotel ballroom near the old Berto Center. And the day that, during his acceptance speech, he thanked his mother, Brenda, with emotional words as if they were the only two people present.
Brenda raised Rose and his older brothers as a single, working mother in the Englewood neighborhood and all its inherent traps. Before home games, Rose would always blow a kiss to his mother.
Those were great days at the United Center. It's fun to relive some of them during Derrick Rose week on our airwaves.
NBC Sports Chicago will honor the Bulls great with "Derrick Rose Week presented by Saint Xavier University" starting up Monday, June 8 at 7:00 PM CT with the first of five-straight nights of "Classic" game performances. See full schedule here.
Why Derrick Roses imperfect Bulls tenure will always be worth appreciating originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago