Hoop Diaries with Jeremy Fitch
By Tyler Eaton- Writer and Analyst
“You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love its will to reach the sun. Well, we are the roses. This is the concrete, these are my damaged petals. Don’t ask me why, ask me how.”
-PowerAde commercial on Derrick Rose, originally by Tupac
Rap legend and icon Tupac once said we wouldn’t ask why a rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. When we think of the roses that do this, we admire them more than a rose that grew in a garden or a field with the proper care. When I think of these roses I do not think of the flower, I think of the NBA player who grew from the concrete and had the will to reach the sun. I think of Derrick Rose, and his ability to keep coming back from knee problems that he has faced since 2012. When Derrick Rose was injured the first time, I’m not going to lie, it hurt. But the second time?! Heartbroken. I watched my role model, like he is for many people, be plagued with an injury that never lets someone fully recuperate. “On the contrary” you see him keep coming back. In an interview when they made his “Just a Kid from Chicago” commercial, he said about how he just wants to be a role model. He is always watching what he says, and he lets his play do the talking. He is far from cocky, extremely humble, and at the end of the day he just wants to make someone else believe that they can change the world.
I remember when I first heard about Derrick Rose. He was a top recruit coming out of Simeon High School in Chicago. In case you don’t know, Simeon also had the likes of Jabari Parker, and Benjamin Wilson (May he rest in peace). Coming out of Chicago, what some call “Chiraq” Derrick grew up tough. However you see many great basketball players come out of Chicago as well, and you could say that they are all examples of “Roses that grow from concrete”. So if all these roses can grow from concrete, why can’t you achieve your own goals?
As many of you may know, he just played his second playoff game since suffering the horrific injury he suffered in the 2012 playoffs. After having 23 points and 7 assists in game one of the playoffs against the Bucks, he posted 15 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds in game 2. Game one we saw him play a measly 27 minutes out of a possible 48, but in game two we saw him play 38, which is a plus. He may have shot 4-14 from the floor with two of those field goals being threes, but he didn’t let that affect his playmaking ability. He continued to prove why he is still a great player at the point guard position, by still getting his teammates involved. In a game that was as physical as this one, where multiple players received technical fouls, and one player from the Bucks was even ejected, I was hoping they just pulled Rose and let him sit. However I’m glad he continued to play, because he still showed us flashes of the MVP Derrick Rose from just a few years ago. Now I’m not saying he is fully back up to speed, but I will say he is showing us he can get back to that stage. He is still explosive, and he can still break a few ankles in the process of getting to the basket, and then finishing with an emphatic jam.
All in all, I refuse to give up on the thought Derrick Rose can get back to the days of when he was an MVP. I refuse to believe someone who grew up in the inner city of Chicago would let some “bad knees” end his career. Derrick Rose is still a role model to so many kids that are out there shooting in their driveways and the gym. After all, I still believe in what Tupac said. “This is the concrete, these are my damaged petals. Don’t ask me why, ask me how”.