Six years ago, if someone would have told you Derrick Rose was getting cheered at an NBA playoff game in Chicago, you would have shrugged as if it was no big deal. Rose was the NBA MVP playing for the Bulls and looked set for a long and successful career at the top of the sport.
That did happen this weekend but not in the way we would have ever expected. Rose, a member of the New York Knicks, was being cheered while watching the Bulls-Celtics playoff game in the stands.
It’s a unique sight to see a current NBA player in the stands watching his old team playing a playoff game, but Rose was there with his son wanting to take in the action as a fan.
Via the Chicago Tribune, it was actually Rose’s second playoff game of the weekend as he also took in a Spurs-Grizzlies game in Memphis:
“If I was by myself, it might be a little bit weird. But I’m with him,” Rose said, pointing to P.J. “He makes it a lot easier. I look at it all that happened in the past. The memories will always be there. My heart is still here when I visit. I just love basketball, so I had to watch.”
Indeed, Rose arrived fashionably late for the second half of Game 4 because he flew to Chicago from attending the Spurs-Grizzlies game Saturday night in Memphis, where he played his one season of college ball before winning Rookie of the Year with the Bulls in 2008-09.
Sure, some people may think this is strange because it isn’t exactly a common sight, but why couldn’t Rose buy a ticket to watch these playoff games just like any other fan would? And the fact that he wants to take his kid with him is a pretty cool father-son bonding trip, isn’t it?
But maybe there is something to the locations and the games that Rose picked. Rose starred in Chicago playing for the Bulls in the prime of his career before injuries derailed it. He also led Memphis to the NCAA Championship Game in his one year and college and probably should have won a title were it not for some missed free throws.
Given how much disappointment Rose has been through in his career, who could begrudge him for visiting some places that have good memories for him and catching some playoff basketball? It’s not like that’s happening with the Knicks…
“I just wanted to show him a good time. That was it,” Rose said. “It seemed like a good series and I just wanted to be around a playoff atmosphere.”
How bad is it for the Knicks and their fans when their players have to buy tickets to experience playoff basketball? Rose is a free agent this year, so if he wants to experience the playoffs as a player again and not a fan, maybe it’d be best to say goodbye to whatever it is Phil Jackson is trying to do in New York.