It has been a long time since April 28, 2012. 526 days, to be exact.
That was the last time we saw Derrick Rose on a basketball court in a competitive game. The time from that date until today has been filled with worry, waiting, hope, doubt, frustration, confusion and all other sorts of emotions.
Last night, #TheReturn was realized as Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls took on the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the first preseason game for both teams. Sure it wasn’t a regular season game, but it was great to finally see Rose back out there, doing everything that made him such a fun player to watch.
In the end, Rose put in 20 minutes, finishing with 13 points on 5-12 shooting while also chipping in 3 assists as the Bulls won 82-76. But none of that really matters. It was just a preseason game after all.
What matters was seeing Rose out on the court again; and seeing him healthy and confident. There was months of debate over whether Rose should have been back last season, but at this point, it is all irrelevant. Whatever your thoughts on that may have been, Rose is back now, and looks good.
It will surely take Rose some time to get used to the speed of the game, as no amount of practice and preparation can prepare him for the intensity and speed of real games. But Rose looked strong and athletic as always, cutting to the basket with quickness and agility only he can pull off. He was able to get out on the fast break for a few baskets as well. (Check out video of all 5 of Rose’s baskets below.)
The NBA is a better place with Derrick Rose on the court, and he’s back now. So enjoy, everybody.