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  • Mamadou Tall

#The Return… For Real This Time

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

The 2019–2020 season has just started, and a new season brings new hopes and goals. With all the new things going on this season it’s a pleasant surprise to see a glimpse of what used to be. Derrick Rose.

Who remembers the famous “#The Return” commercials of 2012?

Those were my middle school days when Derrick Rose and was the next big thing in the NBA. He had just become the youngest player to ever be named the NBA’s MVP, with the new buzz and accolades came the clout and then an untimely injury.

A torn ACL ended his season and his team’s championship during the first round of the 2012 playoffs. The devastation surrounding Rose’s injury gave us the optimistic and very well marketed, “#The Return” commercials from Adidas. The commercials gave 13-year-olds like me a lot to hope for and look forward to.

Seven years later and it seems like what those commercials promised is finally happening; that return that we were all waiting for.

Rose is giving us glimpses of what we missed from him all those years he was suffering from injury. Rose is now a Detroit Piston, this being his fourth team in three years. Rose has started this season off with a vengeance. In his first four games of the season, he is averaging 21.5 points and 5 assists while shooting 54.7 percent from the field on just 26 minutes per game.

Skeptics will ask is this production sustainable for Rose? Rose’s bad history with injuries gives him the often pitied injury-prone label which makes the answer to that question lean more towards no. The new trend of load management makes the notion of Rose sustaining this level of play more likely though.

Early signs of load management working came last year while Rose was on the Minnesota Timberwolves where he averaged 18 points per game while playing 27 minutes per game and shooting a calm 48 percent from the field. Load management is crucial for Rose if he hopes to continue this level of play. His joining the Pistons also gives him the ability to rest when there is nothing at stake and contribute in those high leverage moments. Rose is now on a team with all-stars Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin who led the Pistons to a playoff berth last season. His contributions this season will only make them better as long as he stays healthy.

Derrick Rose is not the same as player he was on the Chicago Bulls. He is older, more mature and it seems like his trials and tribulations have made him wiser. He is no longer the young kid with the low cut caesar, goatee and stoic look. Watch Rose play today and you can see he has aged as he runs down the court with dreadlocks and a full beard. The growth of his hair to him signifying his growth and maturity as a person. Rose recently said, “Growing my hair out, it felt like I was gaining my strength, but also becoming more mature. I began to leave that revenge side behind.”

Rose became the youngest player to ever win the NBA's MVP at just 22 years old.

Since the infamous torn ACL game, Rose has seen his team change, number change, and appearance change. With all the myriad of changes, he has experienced he is still D Rose to the fans that watched him play years ago. His game was once predicated off of his amazing athleticism and speed. The most athletic point guard at the time, Rose made a habit out of continuously giving viewers acrobatic and thunderous finishes at the rim. He still does the same today even though he has aged and taken some damage over the years. In 2019 we see Rose display the same speed and explosiveness he was lauded for, but now it’s in a more controlled and maintained manner. Instead of poster dunks and crashing to the floor after layups; we are seeing him explode by defenders and finish with crafty floaters and layups around the basket.

The return that was heavily anticipated in 2012 may have finally arrived. It took seven years but Rose’s journey to this point makes it that much better. The former MVP has seen what it’s like to be at the top of the game and he has seen what it’s like to be counted out. Rose’s start to the season is a glimpse of what is to come. The return to the level we all know he was, and still is capable of playing at.

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