CHICAGO – Five years after receiving the award as the best player in professional basketball, the kid from Englewood is gone.
Whats sad is that he didn’t even get to hear the news from the team that traded him away.
Perhaps that was the most unusual piece of news that came for a quickly organized news conference on Wednesday with Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. As expected, he praised Derrick Rose for his time in Chicago and his efforts to return to the court after a handful of injuries that robbed him of some explosiveness in his final years with the team
Forman insists that the Bulls made the moves not as a “rebuilding” move but rather “retooling” transaction following a playoff-less season.
The most unusual news that came out of the 20 minute news conference is that he shipped Rose to the Knicks along with a Justin Holiday and a second round pick for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant, Forman and didn’t even tell him in person or phone.
Per the General Manager, the call went to voicemail and the message was relayed through his agent B.J. Armstrong.
It’s a shame, really. This is not really Gar’s fault nor is it Derrick’s. Call this a matter of inconvenient timing on what seemed to be a calm Wednesday before the NBA Draft. Forman insists he’ll get a hold of Rose before he leaves town though it would have been nice to do that the day he was traded away.
So what might have Forman said to Rose had the timing worked out? This is the interesting part.
Like the guard’s tenure in Chicago, from his drafting with the No. 1 pick in 2008 from his ten points against the Cavaliers at the United Center on April 9th of this year, it would be a complex discussion.
But here’s what I hope Forman would say to someone who probably deserves more credit for what he did in Chicago than what he failed to do.
“Derrick, you are headed to the Knicks. We’ve traded you as a way to start building a new era of our franchise. The window for a championship that you helped to create has come to a close. That was obvious at the end of last season when we missed the playoffs and with free agency approaching in the summer of 2017, we had to make this move.”
“First and foremost, thank you.”
“Thanks for being a strong member of the Chicago community which you grew up in. Since joining us in 2008 you have been an active member with children in your old neighborhood of Englewood and always willing to give back. No long ago you gave a million dollars to the After School Matters program that helps create programs for teenagers when their school day comes to an end.”
“Thanks for taking full advantage of the opportunity you got in your home city. From the beginning you set out to be a leader for this Bulls franchise and early on in your career you did just that. Starting with the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2009 you helped take the franchise from out of the playoffs to the top of the Eastern Conference in just two seasons.”
“In the 2010-2011 campaign you delivered one of the finest offensive seasons in the 50 years of Bulls basketball. You scored 25 points a game and dished out 7.7 assists too and earned yourself an MVP Award while leading our team to 62 wins. The only other guy who got that award in this franchise is MJ. Special company, Derrick. Elite company.”
“It wasn’t all Roses, no pun intended. Watching you go down in the first game of the playoffs in 2012 was one of the darkest moments in Bulls history. You took a lot of heat, some deserved and not deserved, for waiting out an entire season to get healthy.”
“Watching you get hurt again and again and again was difficult. Not even the first practice this year could got off without an injury (Thanks, Taj) but you did what you could to come back. Seventeen points a game last year and 16 this years showed glimpses of your old self, but the explosiveness wasn’t there.”
“Free agency is approaching and, frankly, we don’t know if you can return to that level that made you a superstar five years ago. The pieces for a championship that were around you are gone and it’s time to start a new era. Regrettably, it doesn’t include the second chapter of your career.”
“But again, thanks a lot for what you did. Things could have been and should have been different but it wasn’t. It happens. Still your efforts for good outweighed the bad over the past eight years that you wore the No. 1 jersey.”
“We won’t forget that. I promise”