There was a time when the city of Chicago hoisted Derrick Rose on the collective shoulders of its citizens.
Rose was the golden child who would emerge from Michael Jordan’s shadow to lead the Bulls back to the promised land. Born in Englewood, a notoriously violent district in Chicago’s South Side, Rose overcame frightening odds before treading the perilous path to superstardom.
The Bulls, too, beat lofty odds to get him. In 2008, the team had a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery, and as luck would have it, landing the first pick allowed them to bring Rose home. The 20-year-old didn’t disappoint, earning Rookie of the Year honors while leading his team in minutes played and assists per game.
Rose and the Bulls were a match made in Hollywood: a talented hometown kid who led his team to a 62-win campaign in his third season and became the youngest MVP ever at the age of 22.
Chicago had a dynasty in the making, it seemed, with Rose as its centerpiece. The team had a defensive savant in head coach Tom Thibodeau, a pair of blue-chip prospects in Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler, and a host of crafty veterans. With Rose as its lead actor, Chicago seemed destined for a Hollywood ending.
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