When it comes to Chicago basketball, not just pro but in general? It’s impossible not to mention the name Derrick Rose. He led Simeon to a state championship in high school. Then he elevated Memphis to the national title game in college. When his hometown Chicago Bulls lucked into the #1 overall pick in 2008, it was a dream come true for the superstar point guard.
In just his first few seasons, he ascended to one of the best in the NBA and won league MVP in 2011. The youngest player to ever accomplish that feat. He’s a three-time All-Star who despite his unceremonious trading out of Chicago in 2016 has remained productive since. He’s averaged 18 points per game in three of his last four seasons.
One would think he’d be a shoo-in for one of the best basketball players in Chicago-area history. David Kenyon of Bleacher Report doesn’t think so. The best he could do for the former Bulls star was muster an honorable mention.
8. Mark Aguirre
7. Terry Cummings
6. Tim Hardaway
5. Maurice Cheeks
4. George Mikan
3. Anthony Davis
2. Isiah Thomas
1. Dwyane Wade
“Were it not for a career-altering ACL injury during the 2012 playoffs, Rose could’ve been much higher on the list. In his first four seasons, he won Rookie of the Year and a league MVP while making three All-Star appearances. Still, he’s averaged 18.8 points and 5.6 assists per game through 11 years.”
Knee injury will forever define the legacy of Derrick Rose
It’s just so sad. Rose looked like he was destined for the Hall of Fame at one point. Through the first four seasons of his career, he was one of the best in the league. An unstoppable offensive force. Then that fateful night in 2012 happened when the 23-year old crumpled to the floor in the playoff opener against Philadelphia. He tore his ACL, which would cost him the entire 2012-2013 season.
This injury set off a chain reaction of chronic knee problems he never really seemed to get over. Rose has managed to play more than 60 games in a season just twice since that injury eight years ago. While it’s indisputable how dominant he was, the fact is longevity plays a huge part in lists like this. All those guys who cracked the rankings had longer streaks of peak play.
Fans may not agree with that, believing Rose meant more to the Bulls’ run of success from 2010 to 2015 than some of the names on that list. Still, his run was just too short.