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Breaking Down Derrick Rose’s Career: Youngest MVP Ever, Biggest Comeback In NBA History

Breaking Down Derrick Rose’s Career: Youngest MVP Ever, Biggest Comeback In NBA History

Derrick Rose is one of the most “what if” players in the history of the NBA. When Rose won the MVP at the age of 22 years old, he became the youngest player in NBA history to achieve that feat. Had he never been injured, the Bulls might have won a championship. Instead, all of Chicago remains living in the past of the Michael Jordan days.

Rose was a high-flying and electric sensation. The way he could get to the rim was second to none. Since his injury years, Rose has evolved his game. He is now a top option off the bench with a ceiling as high as the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. Given where he has come from, that’s not too shabby. Let’s go back to the beginning. Here is how Rose’s career has looked like, from his rookie season until the upcoming 2022 season, where he will suit up for the New York Knicks.

Chicago Bulls 2008-2016

Bleacher Report Ranks Derrick Rose Outside Of The Top 8 Best NBA Players From Chicago

After leaving Memphis for the NCAA National Championship Game, Rose became the No. 1 overall pick by the Chicago Bulls. The hometown hero played high school basketball at Chicago Simeon, so he was naturally hailed as the next greatest product since Michael Jordan.

In Rose’s first season (2008-2009), he averaged 16.8 points and 6.3 assists, which earned him Rookie of the Year. Rose led the Bulls back to the playoffs despite an early exit. Over the next three seasons, Rose established himself as the game’s best point guard. In 2010-2011, Rose won the regular season MVP with 25.0 points and 7.7 assists per game.

In the strike-shortened 2011-2012, Rose led the Bulls to the No. 1 seed in the conference. However, tragedy struck when Rose was injured with a serious knee injury in Game 1 of the playoffs. Ultimately, the Bulls would lose to the Philadelphia 76ers and Rose would miss all of next season. Rose would return to NBA action in 2013-2015, but Rose lasted just 10 games before tearing his right knee meniscus. By his final seasons in Chicago, Rose averaged just 16.4 points, which led to Rose being packaged to the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks 2016-2017

(via FOX Sports)

(via FOX Sports)

In June 2016, Rose was traded to the Knicks, along with Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick, for Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant, and Robin Lopez. He had his best overall season in three years by bumping his overall scoring average to 18.0 points per game.

Rose made his return to the United Center in November and recorded a double-double of 15 points and 11 assists in a Knicks’ win. He later scored a season-high 30 points in a loss to the Thunder. On January 10, 2017, Rose was fined an undisclosed amount for reportedly flying to Chicago to be with his mother, but did not notify team officials. Eight days later, Rose tied his career-high in points.

In April 2017, Rose suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee, requiring a fourth round of knee surgery for Rose in his nine-year career (at the time). Rose became a free agent at the end of the season.

Cleveland Cavaliers 2017-2018

Derrick Rose Cavs

In the offseason, Rose signed with the Cavaliers and scored 14 points in the team’s opener, but he would not get too many opportunities after that. Rose played just 16 games for the Cavaliers. On November 24, Rose left the team to examine his future in the NBA.

His injuries were constantly causing him to miss time and were making him question if it was worth working hard for something in the league. Given the seriousness of the injuries, Rose had to feel like he was hitting his head against the wall when trying to recover.

He returned to the Cavaliers in early December in hopes of recovering from a sprained left ankle and bone spurs. However, the Cavaliers didn’t believe Rose had much left as they traded him to the Utah Jazz in February. The Jazz ultimately waived Rose, making him a free agent.

Minnesota Timberwolves 2018-2019

Derrick Rose Timberwolves

When the Jazz waived Rose, it opened up an opportunity to reunite with his former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota. This also reunited him with Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. In the playoffs. Rose averaged 14.2 points in 23.8 minutes per game. This was all despite the Timberwolves losing to the Pistons in the first round.

After the team’s first playoff berth in 14 years, Rose resigned with the Timberwolves. In his first start of the season, Rose scored a career-high 50 points in a 128-125 win over the Jazz. Around Christmas time, Rose scored 24 points in a 119-94 win over the Bulls in Chicago and received “MVP” chants from the fans.

By the end of the season, injury troubled Rose again as he missed 11 of the final 19 games due to an ankle. On March 21, he was ruled out for the rest of the season with a right elbow injury.

Detroit Pistons 2019-2021



In the offseason, Rose signed with the Pistons. He became the first player in franchise history to record seven consecutive 20+ games as a reserve. The streak ended when Rose suffered a groin injury during a game with the Nuggets. In the third coming back from injury, Rose scored a season-high 31 points.

Rose had to play through some pretty pathetic years with the Pistons. Rose averaged 18.1 points per game in his first full season with the Pistons. This last year, Rose averaged 14.2 points in 15 games in Detroit before getting traded to the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks 2021-Present


The Knicks traded for Rose at the deadline in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr and a 2021 second-round draft pick. This reunited Rose with Coach Thibodeau for the third time. Rose was a major contributor off the bench, helping the Knicks reach the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Rose finished third in the Sixth Man of the Year voting.

In the first-round series, Rose made his first playoff start since 2015, recording a season-high 30 pints, as well as six rebounds, and five assists. The Hawks eventually took down the Knicks in five games. Rose, at times, closed out games in the fourth quarter over other players. Rose was realistically the team’s best option on offense too.

In the offseason, the Knicks signed Rose to a three-year, $43 million extension. Can Rose lead the Knicks to even bigger heights? 


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