Since becoming the youngest MVP in NBA history with his hometown Chicago Bulls in 2011, Derrick Rose has undergone four knee surgeries, been traded twice and even been waived once.
Rose has played for the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons since his trade from the Bulls in the summer of 2016. The 2017-18 season was the low point of Rose’s career. He was traded by the Cavs to the Utah Jazz, who then waived the former MVP.
Rose was on the open market for a while before Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau — who coached Rose in Chicago — signed him in March for the rest of the 2017-18 season. The former No. 1 overall pick used the 2018 playoffs to show that he still had something left in the tank and then carried that momentum over to the 2018-19 season.
Rose’s career is the definition of perseverance, as most players would have probably retired if they had suffered four knee injuries. While he’s no longer the high-flying guard he was with the Bulls prior to his ACL tear in 2012, Rose has proven to still be one of the better guards in the NBA when given the right opportunity.
With that said, let’s take a look at Derrick Rose’s five best games after his ACL tear.
5. Jan. 18, 2017
Rose averaged 18.0 points and 4.0 assists during the 2016-17 season with the Knicks. New York was a walking disaster from start to finish, but Rose put up stellar numbers in his first season after getting traded from his hometown of Chicago.
In a January game against the Boston Celtics, Rose torched Boston for 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists while shooting 54.2 percent from the field. Whether it was Isaiah Thomas or Marcus Smart, Rose was blowing past every Celtics defender that night:
4. Feb. 28, 2020
The Phoenix Suns had zero answers for Rose, who scored 31 points while shooting 62.5 percent from the floor for the Pistons.
What’s impressive about this performance is that Rose didn’t shoot any free throws and only hit one 3-pointer. Unlike some of the other scorers in the game, Rose doesn’t need help from the refs to get his buckets.
Pistons legend Isiah Thomas, who was at the game in Phoenix, said Rose’s outing versus the Suns “was about as beautiful as we’ve seen any guard play this year,” according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News.
See for yourself:
3. April 23, 2015
In Game 3 of the Bulls’ first-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, Rose went off for 34 points, five rebounds and eight assists to help Chicago win in double overtime by a final score of 113-106.
In 48 minutes of action, Rose shot 52.2 percent overall and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc. It was a stellar performance for Rose given that he had undergone his third knee surgery in February:
2. May 8, 2015
Against his arch-nemesis LeBron James, Rose put on a dazzling show in Game 3 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Chicago native not only finished with 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but Rose also hit the game-winning 3 at the buzzer over Cavs big man Tristan Thompson in an iconic moment:
1. Oct. 31, 2018
With the Timberwolves, who were playing without All-Star Jimmy Butler, Rose registered a performance that captivated the entire sports world.
Against the team that waived him in 2018, Rose scored a career-high 50 points versus the Jazz on Halloween night. The three-time All-Star shot 61.3 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from beyond the arc and 72.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Rose not only hit clutch shot after clutch shot in the fourth quarter, but he also sealed the win for the Timberwolves with a game-winning block on Jazz guard Dante Exum:
Derrick Rose, 31, has career NBA averages of 18.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists.
It has been fun to watch him play at a high level these past two years after he was almost out of the NBA in 2017-18.