Derrick Rose Never Gave Up, and It's Paying Off
Derrick Rose has been through a lot.
He had his prime stripped away from him by injuries, and had lost the faith of almost every critic, analyst, and writer for the NBA.
Some would say the injuries robbed him from not only his prime, but a less successful but enjoyable career.
Last year, it looked like it was over. All the pain was over, all the criticism, the fighting back from injuries, the constant struggle to continue to play the game Rose loved, it looked to be all over.
When Rose suffered another ankle injury early in the season due to a flagrant foul from Greg Monroe, Rose took a leave of absence. While he has denied this, it has been widely rumored and believed that Rose was contemplating leaving the game.
He had given the game everything he could, and it looked like after the 1,000 injury of his career, it’d finally be too much.
I even went and made a video, encouraging Rose not to give up; for if he gave up, he’d be allowing his haters to win. The one thing Rose 100% has to his name, is that he never gave up and fought through some stuff no other athlete ever would. His resiliency was something to marvel at.
And we know now, of course, he maintained that resiliency and did not give up when every hater wanted him too.
He signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves late in the season, after being traded by Cleveland to the Utah Jazz where he was promptly released.
Rose went on to play tremendously in the playoffs against the Houston Rockets. He averaged 14.2 points a game, on 50% shooting from the field, and 70% from downtown. He was one of the only reasons the Timberwolves were able to squeeze out a victory instead of getting swept.
Still though, the haters talked.
“Tyus Jones is being sabotaged!”
“Derrick Rose is washed!”
“5 games in the playoffs doesn’t mean anything!”
Even controversial off-court issues was/have been brought up in talking about Rose.
Still, Rose worked to refine his game to continue his NBA Career.
Because he never gives up.
Rose re-signed with Tom Thibodeau and the T-Wolves over the summer on a 1 year/vet minimum deal. The idea was for Rose to provide some spark and quick scoring off the bench, where he could simply attack the rim for short stretches.
This was still too much for Rose, according to his critics.
And again, Rose tuned them out and worked on his game.
It only took 3 games into the season for his fans to stand up, roaring louder than ever.
The T-Wolves took on the Dallas Mavericks in the third game of their season. Rose coming off the bench, per usual. Nothing out of wack here, right?
Except, with Rose, you always have to expect the unexpected.
Rose bloomed off the bench for the Wolves, scoring 28 points on 52% shooting from the field, shot two of five from beyond the arc, with five assists, five rebounds, two steals, and one block. The Wolves lost this game after Dennis Smith Jr. hit the game winning over his role model, Rose, for an and-1 dagger.
Still, the takeaway from this game was clear.
Rose wasn’t in the NBA still to just sit at the end of the bench. His competitiveness is too much for that. Rose knows where his body is, and where he is at in his career. He’s also aware of where the NBA is, and therefore, put the work in all summer to be a contributor to a team.
But, the roars from his fans were met with pitchforks and belittling by his critics.
“Rose took more shots than KAT, lol”
“Rose is taking time away from Tyus!”
“Rose is taking KAT’s shots!”
Still, Rose moved on with his season, tuning out his critics.
After scoring in double figures the following four games after his explosion off the bench, no one could’ve dreamed of what would happen next.
Boy, did his critics dread a day like this to come.
Starting T-Wolves point guard Jeff Teague had to miss a game due to a knee injury, along with Jones suddenly being ruled out shortly before game time.
This threw Rose into the starting lineup at his natural position of point guard, where he hadn’t played at much at all so far into the season.
With no Jimmy Butler as well, the offense needed to get some more scoring from somewhere, whether it was more from KAT or Andrew Wiggins.
However, it came from a Rose growing from the concrete.
As soon as tip-off happened, the historical night began.
Rose driving layup, make.
Rose assist to Towns layup make.
Rose driving layup, make.
Rose for three, bang.
By the end of the first quarter, it was clear who the best player on the floor was.
No it wasn’t KAT.
It was not Wiggins.
It was Pooh.
And as the game against the team that released Rose just a few months earlier, more and more people tuned in to watch.
It was still happening.
Rose attacks Rudy Gobert, layup.
Rose pull-up jumper, make.
Rose assist to KAT.
It was clear to everyone watching…
A dying Rose is blossoming once again.
Rose entered the fourth quarter with 35 points, with everyone watching now.
What was going on? How much more did he have in the take?
Eh, I’d say he had quite a bit more left.
Rose went on to score 15 points in the fourth quarter, setting a career high of 50 points.
Rose also hit the go ahead layup with 30 seconds to go after pump-faking Gobert on a drive, and hit two free throws with 13 seconds left.
Rose also had the game sealing block on a Dante Exum three has the time expired.
The crowd going wild, social media losing their minds, and as the buzzer expired so did Rose’s teammates.
Immediately, all his teammates circled him, bombarding him with love.
They knew what this meant for him.
Failing to hold back his emotions, Rose cried the whole time.
After all these years of injuries, being told to quit, that he could never return, and rehabbing, it had paid off.
In his post game interview you could see it. FEEL it.
The NBA took notice, players and former players across the country took to social media to congratulate Rose.
What should be a story, an example, a lesson to tell your kids.
To never give up on what you love, no matter what people say to you.
Work your behind off, and don’t take no as an answer; even if the no is coming from your body.
Rose symbolizes the definition of resiliency, and what it looks like when it finally pays off.
Even with the cheering, the highlights, and all around excitement among his fans and peers, the critics peeked their thumbs up from their cellular devices.
“One good game in years lol”
Still, Rose tuned the critics out. Embraced the deserving love from his fans and peers, and quickly moved on with his season.
Since this game Rose has started the last two games, after playing just four minutes the night after his historic night due to injury precaution.
In these two games, Rose is averaging 26 points, 4.5 assists, three rebounds, on 51 percent shooting from the field and 66 percent from downtown. This includes a game on ESPN against LeBron James and the Lakers, where Rose hit a career high seven three-pointers en route to 31 points.
After hitting back-to-back three’s late in the game to make it a two point game with nine seconds left, Rose missed a fade-away three with four seconds left. The T-Wolves lost the game 114-110.
Good look to the hot guy, just missed.
Critics made sure to jump at the moment.
“Rose taking the game winning shot over KAT or Butler lol”
Rose is now averaging 18.6 points, 4.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds a game on 46 percent shooting from the field, and 46 percent from downtown on 3.5 attempts a game. His TS% is .556 and the T-Wolves are 2.6 points better with him on the court. They are 18.9 points worse with him off the floor.
As a starter, Rose is averaging 34 points, 5 assists, 3.3 rebounds, on 55 percent shooting from the field, and 63 percent from long range.
Exclude the 50 point game, and Rose is averaging the numbers said above in the two games after his career night.
Still, his critics are talking.
And still, Rose is tuning them out. Proving the doubters wrong, proving his body wrong, and working hard.
It isn’t just these hand picked games. Rose has played extremely well for the T-Wolves all season.
Follow any T-Wolves writer or follower, and they’ve talked about it as well.
No, he doesn’t look like MVP Rose. He doesn’t have that explosiveness, that twitchy athleticism. Anyone who watched Rose then would find it disrespectful to say how he looks today matched his MVP year.
But, he’s still crazy athletic. He has tuned up his game, and has tried to add shooting to his repertoire.
He’s being talked about again.
He was in the promotion for the ESPN game against the Lakers.
He’s relevant again to the basketball world, not just his fans.
He’s playing extremely well…
… And his haters CANNOT stand it.
That might be the best part.