The Chicago Bulls are experiencing the lows the New York Knicks had two weeks ago.
The boos from the Bulls fans in the United Center grew louder in the second half as the Knicks thrashed their home team, 114-91, Friday to complete a sweep of their two-game mini-series in three nights.
Only Derrick Rose’s cameo in garbage time changed the jeers into cheers.
The 34-year-old Rose played the final 3:31 of the game to MVP chants and an ovation after Tom Thibodeau finally relented to their “We want Derrick Rose” chants.
The hometown fans lost their mind when Rose sank their team deeper with a three-pointer for a Knicks’ 30-point lead.
“Surreal just being in that moment. I’m happy to be on the winning team. I’m very fortunate to still be playing the game, getting healthy enough to play this game, and coming back here and feeling the love and the vibrations like that.”Derrick Rose postgame via MSG Network
The reeling Bulls desperately need someone like Rose to stabilize their backcourt as Lonzo Ball is reportedly not guaranteed to make a comeback this season.
After the Bulls lost to the Knicks for the second straight time and sank deeper in the standings with an 11-17 record, former NBA player and Illinois star Kendal Gill suggested the idea of trading for Rose.
“You get a true point guard, a guy that wants to come back home & play for the Chicago Bulls. You saw the fan reaction to him – & a guy that could help us — break down defenses and get the ball to the right people. And he doesn’t have to play a lot of minutes since [Bulls] have backups in Ayo [Dusunmu] and [Alex] Caruso.Kendal Gill via NBC Sports Chicago
Rose, who trimmed down to his rookie weight to keep in step with the faster, younger league, has been supplanted by 22-year-old Miles McBride in the Knicks rotation.
The 34-year-old veteran continued to be professional about his demotion as the Knicks racked up six consecutive wins since.
With his long-term future in New York in limbo and the Bulls struggling, perhaps it’s the perfect time for Rose to go home.
“I would say New York’s is [Rose’s] adopted home. He loves New York, so I know how he feels about both places. But I think coming back here means something to him. And this organization, he meant a lot to the [Bulls], but the organization means a lot to him too.”Tom Thibodeau postgame via Knicks digital
Rose represented the Bulls’ most successful stretch in the post-Michael Jordan era. The first overall pick in 2008, Rose won Rookie of the Year and became the league’s youngest MVP in 2011 when he led the Bulls to the conference finals under Thibodeau.
No longer as explosive as he was at 34, Rose still believes he has more left in his tank despite undergoing his seventh surgery in the offseason.
If the Knicks do him right, we might see Rose again in the all-familiar no. 1 crimson red uniform before the February 9 trade deadline.
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