Chicago’s “ownership” of D Rose epitomizes weird world of sports

Fan is short for fanatic and we forget that sometimes. But then Anthony Morrow tries to wear Derrick Rose’s old number in his first Bulls game and we’re all reminded. Nasty things got said, angry words were tweeted, public displays of vitriol showcased, and Morrow relented and abandoned the number to choose another.


Derrick Rose won Rookie of the Year in 2008-2009 and had impressive stats for a 20-year-old in his first NBA season. In his third season, Rose took home league MVP. That same year, the Bulls finished first in the East for the first time since the 1997-1998 campaign. Whispers of Jordan breezed through the halls of the United Center. The Bulls were back and had the league MVP to prove it.

The next season found D Rose and the Bulls in a similar position, gaining the number one seed in the East. In the strike shortened season, Rose only made 39 out of 66 games due to a laundry list of minor injuries. He rarely played two games in a row in the latter half of the season. Then on April 28th, 2012, he tore his ACL against the 76ers. He would miss the entirety of the 2013 season.

Rose then became embroiled in a sexual assault case while he sat the bench, his heavy contract weighing down the free agency search.

“To tell you the truth, I thought she was going to claim rape. It looked like a set-up.”

Derrick Rose during trial testimony

The Bulls returned to a paltry .500 getting punched around early in the playoffs or missing them altogether for the next few seasons. He jettisoned the Bulls last year for Eastern rival New York, a move that was sure to bring filth to his name, giving “smelling like a Rose” the stench of a Benedict Arnold.

In his first return to the United Center with a Knicks jersey on, the crowd gave much more of a cheer than anyone expected, and in fact very few boos or negative comments abounded. Many thought this was simply a testament to the forgiving and understanding people of Chicago. But the story of Anthony Morrow illuminates fans a little differently, as star deprived, overwrought, hysterical possessors of extreme fanatical depravity.

Rose had only two solid seasons for the Bulls, fell apart, and left. Why the adulation for him remains is a Scooby-Doo mystery.

It begs the question; where else has this happened? Kevin Durant and LeBron James certainly did not get this treatment after they left and returned in a different jersey. In fact, fans burned their jerseys in effigy.

Mark Sanchez had two good years in a Jets uniform before he gaffed with the infamous “Butt Fumble” and his name has been dirt with Jets fans ever since.

Even Al Horford took some heat when he returned to Atlanta for the first time.

The only player that comes to mind who got a standing ovation and all around cheer recently when returning to their former team was Peyton Manning in Indianapolis.

 

Anthony Morrow is not the current measure of superstardom in today’s NBA and maybe that’s why fans were upset that he was wearing D Rose’s old number. But Derrick Rose isn’t the measure of super stardom in the NBA today and hasn’t been since 2012. Yet Chicago fans are still holding dear the number and the sentimental value that comes with it. Chicago yearns for the days of having a mega star.

What do you think Jimmy?

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