With the New York Knicks recently in Chicago to take on the Bulls twice in three days, current Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said before Friday’s game that guard Derrick Rose – who is on the Knicks roster but out of the rotation – should get his jersey number retired by the Bulls for what he accomplished while playing in Chicago.
Thibodeau was also Rose’s head coach for five seasons in Chicago (2010-15), including Rose’s MVP season in 2011.
“I’m hopeful [Rose gets his number retired by the Bulls]. My opinion is he is deserving. I’d love to see it… What Derrick did for this organization, what he did for the city… In my opinion, he’s a Hall of Fame player.”Tom Thibodeau via Rob Schaefer on Twitter
Adding Rose’s Bulls jersey to the rafters would put him alongside a prestige group of Bulls players who’s jersey’s were also retired, such as Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, two Bulls legends and NBA greats.
If there was any head coach to give their input on Rose’s Hall of Fame case, Thibodeau would be the best choice. He saw Rose make three All-Star teams, win the aforementioned MVP (the youngest player to win the award), and make the All-NBA first team in that MVP season, all while the pair was in Chicago as part of the Bulls.
In that accolade-filled seven-season tenure with Chicago, Rose averaged 19.7 PPG, 6.2 APG, and shot 44.8% from the field, establishing himself as one of the best players in Bulls history and one of the best guards of the 2010s.
Thibodeau also coached Rose briefly in Minnesota on the Timberwolves before being fired during the 2018-19 season. The pair were reunited once again when the Knicks acquired Rose in 2021, during Thibodeau’s first season as Knicks head coach.
Therefore, Thibodeau has essentially followed Rose throughout his entire career and has seen him at both his peak and his rock bottom in the league. Surely, he would love to see the guy he’s been around the most enter the esteemed Bulls shrine.
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Rose’s 2022-23 season has been rather desolate. As previously mentioned, he has been out of the Knicks’ rotation for the past few weeks, with his last game in the rotation being the embarrassing home loss to the Dallas Mavericks on December 3rd.
Rose is also averaging just 6.3 PPG and has played just 13.1 MPG, with both marks being career lows by a wide margin.
In Friday’s blowout victory over the Chicago Bulls, Rose entered the game during garbage time to a standing ovation from the United Center crowd, a heartwarming moment for both Rose and Thibodeau to cap off the Knicks’ sixth consecutive victory.
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