Derrick Rose’s fall from grace has been more precipitous in his native city than nationwide. The former MVP and Simeon Career Academy superstar is a lightning rod of criticism for the Chicago Bulls these days, whether justified by his objectively middling on-court performance or consistently vexing habit of ruffling feathers with off-court soundbites.
The basketball world has come to accept what Rose is right now and most likely will be going forward: a flawed player capable of fleeting greatness. The Windy City, though, can’t quite come to grips with the present and future realities of its hometown hero – for better, worse, and somewhere in between.
But Rose, near the end of a disastrous half-decade that changed his career forever, remains undeterred. He still plays like a souped-down version of his ultra-explosive, ball-dominant, pre-injury self despite his game’s obvious erosion, and – as the 27-year-old’s sprawling Q&A with ESPN’s Nick Friedell makes clear – still provides fuel for his increasingly vocal detractors with the type of flammable rhetoric that’s led to so much recent criticism.