The Bulls Didn’t Trade Derrick Rose to the Knicks
The Fans Did
Once upon a time, there was a boy from Englewood, he enjoyed candy, footworking and basketball. Playing in the United Center as a high school kid he was performing better than the NBA team that occupied the building at the time. The NBA loved another darling of a player at the time, Lebron James. Lebron was hailed at the best since Jordan and he was drafted to play for his hometown team. After playing one year at Memphis and losing in a heartbreaking NCAA championship game in which his team led by 2 points with 10 seconds left, would it be possible for the hometown kid to come home?
Many experts wanted the Chicago Bulls to draft Michael Beasley, they felt he was the more pro-ready player. However, the Bulls selected Rose, the hometown hero. The love affair was great from the start, Rookie of the Year the playoffs, changing the point guard position and ultimately the pinnacle of NBA awards, a league MVP. Unfortunately, that all changes on April 28th, 2012 in a playoff game and the Bulls were leading by 12 points in the 4th quarter and Rose fell to the ground tearing his ACL.
Social media has changed the world. There is no denying this often times one of the most fascinating aspects of social media is being part of the crowd. And these crowds can cause great shifts where they don’t realize their power. Social media is analyzed in many different ways. Sometimes it’s just the sheer amount of tweets about a subject, other times the tweets are analyzed. The subjects of tweets alone can form an opinion and shift a narrative. This is the same social media power that can take Ice JJ Fish and get him on primetime TV, the same social media that gets a marginal rapper a record deal based off the amount of times his music is looped on Vine or Instagram. Social media is a tool that enables us to see what is on the mind of the people.
That is where we must ask ourselves, what was the narrative the Bulls front office received about Derrick Rose from “the fans” & the internet. The outcry after the trade doesn’t match the narrative we’ve built about Rose the past few seasons. Countless memes, disrespect, questioning his toughness and countless “he’s not better than Jimmy Butler” posts, would make the front office assume that we cared if they traded Rose? I did not feel that Rose was beloved anymore and I’m sure the Bulls front office didn’t either. While being loved by the fans doesn’t guarantee a player won’t be traded, it gives them something to think about. Maybe a trade does happen, but not to a conference rival that you have to play four times a year.
Several players have missed time and their fan bases have not turned on them. I don’t see images of the often-injured Anthony Davis photoshopped as Mr. Glass. The Golden State Warrior fan base did not turn on Steph Curry when he it seemed his ankles were in worse shape than his jump shot in the finals. The Cleveland fans understood the injuries of Kyrie Irving through the years, and the patience has paid off. And let’s not even begin to talk about how much the Los Angeles fan base held Kobe Bryant’s name in high regard after winding his career down injury ridden.
As a sports fan base, you are supposed to protect your own players, hate their rivals and make every team that comes into the arena uncomfortable, at the least. If you are a fan who has been hurt by this trade and went to social media to share your displeasure for Rose or joke about his misfortunes, you have no right to complain. You helped push the button and your defense of a hometown hero and former MVP came too late.
Good Luck in New York D. Rose, Good Luck!