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Former Chicago Bulls players say opponents used to fake injuries because they feared prime Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Back in the day, guard Derrick Rose was one of the best players in the NBA, not to mention one of its most irresistible forces.

In fact, John Lucas III and C.J. Watson, who were both teammates of Rose, said that opponents would pretend to be injured or ill so that they wouldn’t have to compete against him.

In recent years, Rose has been a backup for several teams, and it is therefore easy to forget how great a player he was just over a decade ago.

He was the first player chosen in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls, and he quickly helped uplift a franchise that had struggled to maintain any growth after Michael Jordan’s retirement.

Rose won the Rookie of the Year award, and just two seasons later he was named the regular season MVP for averaging 25.0 points and 7.7 assists per game while leading Chicago to the best record in the league.

The team also had the best record the following season (along with the San Antonio Spurs), but its big playoff aspirations went up in smoke when Rose suffered a severe knee injury early in the postseason. Since then, he has struggled to remain healthy.

But before that knee injury, he was an athletic freak who was able to explode and throw down monstrous dunks, and he also possessed outstanding speed in the open court.

There is a parallel to be made between a young Rose and Ja Morant, who has displayed many of the same qualities over his first four seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies.

For the last two seasons and change, Rose has provided some depth for the New York Knicks, who are having a very good season right now. However, it appears that he is nearing the end of his career, as he’s averaging just 5.6 points in 12.5 minutes per game while shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from 3-point range.


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