Bulls news: Derrick Rose judged 'unfairly' after several knee injuries
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Derrick Rose judged ‘unfairly’ after several knee injuries, claims ex-teammate

Derrick Rose, Bulls

Former Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose got heavily criticized by the media and fans in Chicago after he was never able to return to MVP form following a slew of knee injuries.

That’s something former Bulls point guard and Rose’s one-time backup, CJ Watson, isn’t happy about.

However, Watson is pleased to see that Rose is once again playing at a high level following four knee surgeries. The youngest MVP in NBA history has had two productive seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves (2018-19) and Detroit Pistons (2019-20) after almost being out of the NBA in 2017-18.

“Definitely a great teammate, probably one of my favorites (on the Bulls),” CJ Watson said about Derrick Rose, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

“Injuries take a toll on you. He was held up to the MVP standard and some people judged him unfairly. But he has worked so hard. I’m definitely rooting for him and I’m always watching.”

Rose’s 2017-18 season was a nightmare at the beginning. He played in just 16 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers before the franchise traded him to the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz then waived the Bulls icon and no teams were showing interest in Rose until Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau signed him in March of 2018. Thibodeau was Rose’s coach when Derrick won the MVP Award with Chicago in 2011 while leading the team to the best record in the NBA.

Thibodeau was initially slammed by the Timberwolves media for signing Rose. However, after the three-time All-Star played well in the 2018 playoffs and scored a career-high 50 points on Oct. 31, 2019, against the Jazz, people in Minnesota realized they were wrong to bash Thibs for believing in Rose.

With the Pistons in 2019-20, Rose averaged 18.1 points and 5.6 assists while shooting 49.0 percent from the field. He received two standing ovations from Bulls fans when the Pistons came to the United Center. Rose will likely be the third-most popular player in Bulls franchise history behind Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, respectively, for a while