derrick rose

Not too long ago, Derrick Rose was one of the NBA’s biggest stars. He had an MVP on his resume, a massive Adidas endorsement deal padding his bank account and a future that likely included enshrinement in Springfield.

Now, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin, his career might meet a sudden end. Woj reported Friday that Rose, exhausted from years of injuries, had walked away from the Cleveland Cavaliers and is now “evaluating his future in basketball.” He is currently sidelined with an ankle injury.

Rose’s career has followed a downward trajectory pretty much since the moment he was named MVP in 2011. His numbers have dropped steadily. He has suffered a series knee injuries that erased one full season and part of several others. He has bounced from Chicago to New York to Cleveland, often failing to fit among his teammates.

In 2016, Rose and two of his friends were accused of raping his former girlfriend. Rose was eventually cleared of all charges.

Rose has struggled this season with the Cavs, scoring a career-low 14.3 points per game and racking up more turnovers than assists before going down with an ankle injury. Per ESPN, Rose is fed up with playing through injuries, and it’s easy to imagine why. Again and again, his body keeps him from doing what he loves, from fulfilling his career and from matching the world’s expectations of him. That can’t be an easy thing to go through.

This is not the first time Rose has left his team abruptly. Last season, Rose disappeared from the Knicks without notifying coaches, then explained that the matter was “a family issue.” This time, ESPN reports, his absence is excused.

Regardless of whether Rose returns to the Cavs, his career will leave an odd legacy. He will be remembered not only for his early-career athleticism but also for his mid- and late-career injuries and the incident with his ex-girlfriend. There is a strong chance he will become the first player ever to win an MVP but not reach the Hall of Fame.

The Cavs desperately need guards — at least until Isaiah Thomas returns — but given how far Rose has fallen on the court, his absence won’t be too devastating a blow.

[ESPN]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.