When you look at NBA history, there are many tragedies which have held players back from reaching their potential and you think to yourself, what if? What if Brandon Roy wasn’t injured, Tracy McGrady? Grant Hill? Penny Hardaway? The list goes on. But, the biggest what if would have to come down to youngest MVP in history, Derrick Rose.
The 2010-11 season is where Rose became a superstar. Rose would lead the Bulls to 62 wins and finish on top of the eastern conference. He averaged 25.0 points, 7.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds and a steal per game. He was then awarded MVP for his spectacular performance all at the age of 22 making him the youngest MVP in NBA history. He was going to be one of the most dominant players in the league for years to come. Until he suffered a severe ACL injury.
In game 1 of the 2012 playoffs, Bulls were matched up against 76ers in the first round. With 1:19 left in the 4th quarter, it was a clear victory with Bulls leading by 12. After driving to the basket, Rose lands awkwardly on his left leg tweaking his knee which results in a torn ACL. Rose required surgery and was sidelined for the rest of the playoffs and the whole 2012–13 season. Many say it was bad luck but did he cause this himself?
Rose is known for his freakish athletic ability. From jumping over the top of defenders to acrobatic layups, Rose was almost unguardable. However, relying too heaving on his athleticism caused a continuous tear on his legs. Athletic players like him are at more risk of injuries because of the positions they land in. Rose’ explosiveness was uncontrollable, making him land in awkward positions and putting his health at risk. Rose never changed the way he landed which resulted in knee surgery four times since 2012, all from non-contact injuries.
Rose doesn’t rely on his athleticism and has resorted to more crafty finishes around the ring including floaters, pump fakes and pull up jump shots. Although Rose may never be able to reach his MVP level again, he has adapted his game to a different level to benefit his longevity for his future in the NBA.