The Chicago Bulls of the early 2010s were special, with Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose leading the way. While they didn’t live up to playoff expectations for a variety of reasons, this team made the city of Chicago proud for their regular-season accomplishments.
In the 2011/12 campaign, the Bulls were the No. 1 seed in the East and a surefire favorite to get to the NBA Finals. But, that all came crashing down in the first round against the Philadelphia 76ers when Rose tore his ACL, which left his close friend, Noah, absolutely terrorized. In fact, he even compared it to a rather horrific part of American history. Via ESPN:
“When I found out Derrick tore his ACL, I remember the smells, who I was with, everything,” Noah says. “I had the same feeling of when I saw the plane hit the tower [on Sept. 11, 2001]. People will be like, ‘He’s crazy for saying that.’ No. I’m telling you how I felt.”
That was just a year removed from Rose winning the NBA MVP award with the Bulls where he solidified himself as one of the most lethal offensive weapons in the league. From that point on, injuries derailed Rose’s career, later tearing his meniscus in 2013 as well. It’s well known that he’s never been that same player again, but Rose has carved out a nice role for himself for his former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau with the New York Knicks.
As for Noah, he remains tight with Rose to this day. Thursday should be special as the Bulls honor one of their best bigs ever at the United Center ahead of Chicago taking on the Knicks.