At 10:43 my phone started going nuts. A million twitter notifications, mostly this one, but it took me until 10:45 to figure it out what had happened. I will forever cherish those two minutes where I thought maybe JR Smith did something funny or Kobe murdered Nick Young.
But then at 10:45 this happened
So here’s the breakdown of my emotions from initial text until right now, approximately 12:30am on February 25.
Initial reading of the text, I’m trying to remember what a meniscus is because I’m an idiot. “Is it a shoulder thing? Maybe it’s not that bad?” That’s probably why I opted for the four question mark approach. But then I quickly remembered that meniscus sounded a lot like what Rose tore last season and then Jake said “Yeah.” and then there was a hardcore waive of sadness.
Up until today, I was operating under the belief that Rose was going to steadily regain his form, maybe never back to 100% of what he was prior to the initial ACL tear, but something very close. All the Rose criticism over his shot selection and his noticeable decrease in drives to the rim did not dissuade me from my quiet belief that Rose had finally smartened up his game and possessed an unseen gear that would be unleashed in the postseason. I know that it was a silly belief, as Rose did little in more than half a season to provide me with empirical evidence. But part of being a Bulls fan is harboring that belief, as unlikely as it is to become reality.
But today, right now, I don’t believe it anymore.
I’ve only seen Derrick in person once, but it was all I needed to see. It was a game in January 2011, around the time early DRose for MVP buzz started to be a thing. The game itself was highly unremarkable, as the Bulls shredded a post-LeBron era Cavs team. But there is one play that I will always remember.
The play began with Rose standing and dribbling at the top of the key, sizing up his defender. It seemed at though his dribbling was a waste of time, or a diversion for a play being crafted elsewhere. But then, there was this moment where Derrick made a high crossover, the equivalent to the Road Runner winding up his legs before he takes off. The crowd recognizes that something nuts is about to happen and gasps in excitement. Really, you could hear thousands of gasps. In a flash, Rose is slicing through three guys, and finishes with a crazy up and under scoop shot layup that spins beautifully off the glass. It was amazing. It was something I’d seen him do plenty of times on TV, but to see it in person was truly impressive.
The thing is though, that play, in January of 2011, wasn’t remarkable at all. That kind of stuff just happened all the time! Every game!
So yeah I’m just sad.