Derrick Rose hasn’t seen much playing time lately after falling out of the rotation of New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau. However, he got a few minutes in on Friday night against the Chicago Bulls and it could not have been a more perfect time for the former league MVP to see some action.
Friday’s matchup between the Knicks and the Bulls at the United Center was a blowout in favor of the visitors. With just a few minutes remaining in the contest and with the game out of hand, coach Thibs decided to give in to the clamor of the home crowd that was demanding to see Rose.
As soon as he checked in, the Bulls fans got on their feet to give their prodigal son the warmest of welcomes:
“It was amazing,” Rose said after the game, via Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports. “I tried to hold it in. But always getting acknowledged like that, it means a lot. We did a lot here. I’m happy I was able to get in.”
Rose ended up draining a triple as well, which as expected, drove the fans into a frenzy. There’s no denying that Chicago still has a lot of love for Derrick Rose — a feeling that remains to be mutual:
“Always. Always,” Rose said when asked if he was surprised by the reception. “You never know how important, or just the way that we played back then, how it affected people. To come here and see all the love and receive all the love that we got, it was unreal.
“That’s why I’ve never talked ill on the franchise or the people from the franchise. When I was here, it was nothing but love. I saw (former Bulls general manager) Pax (John Paxson) before the game, I ain’t get a chance to see (Bulls President and CEO) Michael (Reinsdorf). But the way their family showed so much love to me, and Pax, the way he was honest the whole time I was here. It was all I asked for.”
Rose is now in the twilight of his career, and it’s only a matter of time before the 34-year-old decides to hang it up. He still has some gas left in the tank, and he probably still has a couple of years left in him. However, once he finally calls it a career, it would only be fitting if he retires as a Bull. I really hope that happens.