What if I told you, some of the brightest stars never get to shine.
Nowadays in 2017, you will see young basketball fans sporting Stephen Curry or Lebron James jerseys, as they are some of the most skilled and popular players in the world. With all the new dazzling athletes we tend to easily forget the greats of the past. Specifically we forget a man who was once the youngest MVP in NBA history, Derrick Rose
Raised by a single mother in a violent section of Chicago, Illinois, Derrick Rose was born on October 4, 1988. The nation’s No. 1 high school point guard, Rose played for the University of Memphis before declaring for the 2008 NBA Draft after his freshman year. Selected No. 1 overall by the Chicago Bulls, Rose was named MVP of the NBA following the 2011 season.
College coaches salivated over the prospect of getting Derrick Rose on their roster. In the end, the point guard chose to enroll at the University of Memphis and play for its coach, John Calipari. Rose wasted little time leaving his mark on the college game. In his lone year at Memphis, the point guard led the Tigers to 38 total wins—the most in NCAA history—and the 2008 national championship game, where the team lost to the Kansas Jayhawks in overtime.
Rose netted 18 points in the final game, cementing his status as one of college’s best players. Not longer after, he declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft, and in June 2008, his hometown Chicago Bulls selected the 19-year-old with the first pick in the draft by the Chicago Bulls.
In Rose’s first NBA season (2008-09), he averaged 16.8 points and 6.3 assists per game. He earned the Rookie of the Year award and lead his team the playoffs. Over the next three seasons, the Rose became one of the game’s star talents. After a stellar 2010-11 season that Rose averaged 25 points per game, the NBA named Rose the league MVP, making him the youngest player to receive the honor in NBA history.
In the shortened 2011-12 season, Rose helped lead the Bulls to the first seed in the Eastern Conference. But in the first game of the postseason, Rose went down with a serious knee injury that forced him to miss the remainder of the playoffs as well as all of the 2012-13 season.
Rose missed a total of 99 games with a torn ACL. The bulls went from a one-seed to a playoff bubble without him in the lineup. The next season, Rose limped off the court in a matchup between the Trail Blazers after losing his footing while trying to change direction. He left the arena on crutches. The eventual diagnosis: torn meniscus in his right knee. He ended up missing another 76 games and the Bulls fell in the first round of the playoffs.
After another strenuous recovery, Rose was able to step onto the court again in the 2014-15 season. However just over midway through the season, the Bulls announced that Rose had tore his meniscus yet again and required knee surgery. The team missed the playoffs.
Rose was now nowhere near the basketball player he used to be. He had the knees of a 70 year old and needed constant attention from trainers to stay healthy. Eventually after a 8 season run with Chicago, he and one of his companions, Joakim Noah, were traded to the New York Knicks.
He spent one year with the Knicks. He was plagued with more injuries and he was only able to play 14 games in blue and orange. He was only able to average 11.0 points and the Knicks missed the playoffs thoroughly.
After the one year stint, he signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He wanted to play with the King, a.k.a LeBron James. However shortly into the 2017-18 season, he took a leave of absence from the NBA. According to some reports he got secretly married but he also contemplated retiring due to all of his injuries.
Rose’s skills had promising signs of him being a next Kobe Bryant and could revive the Bulls dynasty of the 90’s. However his career being riddled with injuries, could never fulfill the hopes of Chicago sports fans. This is one of the biggest stories of a promising professional athletes talents go down the drain because of severe injuries.
Note: He is yet to return to NBA action.