There’s nothing like coming home. In the case of Derrick Rose, his first official NBA game back at the United Center was a special one.
It was Halloween night. The Bulls were hosting the New York Knicks who unveiled their new orange uniforms for the first time. Spike Lee was in the building. And when the team needed the former MVP the most, he delivered a game winning shot that gave the Bulls an 82-81 victory in the team’s home opener, and sent a message around the league that D. Rose is back.
"Derrick Rose is a great talent, man," said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson of the former MVP’s heroics. "He causes problems for every team in this league based on his strength, his speed and ability to run his ball club. The play he made, I haven’t seen too many players, running baseline, pulling up for a four-foot runner over a 7-footer."
With 5.7 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, Rose drove baseline and put up his signature floater over the outstretched arms of former Bulls center Tyson Chandler. When the shot fell through the net, giving the Bulls the lead, the United Center erupted.
"It was special," said Joakim Noah. "For Derrick’s homecoming, for him to hit the game-winner, I know it’s special for him, but it’s special for us, too. It’s been a long year-and-a-half and to have him back is huge."
Chicago led by as many as 13 points in the game, but went cold shooting from the field which allowed New York to get back in it. The Bulls were outscored 20-11 in the fourth quarter and shot 2-15 from the field with both shots being made by you know who.
But the South Side native took it all in stride, just like the opening night loss against Miami. But the moment was certainly not lost on him,
"That’s what builds your resume. That leaves a mark on your legacy and I want to be known as one of those players," said Rose after the game. "I just love being in that position. Being in the fourth quarter, having the ball in my hands, making all the decisions, I think is just going to groom me into a better player, so that in the playoffs, we’re used to it and later on, we just get used to being in those type of games."
Certainly Bulls fans don’t want to have too many games like that. But it’s good to know that if they do, employee No. 1 is on the job, and Derrick Rose knows how to get the job done.