But instead of accolades, there was unfulfilled promise as the Rose Era ended at Chicago ended on Wednesday with Bulls trading the 2011 MVP to the New York Knicks.
''That's where it's hard,'' general manager Gar Forman said. ''Derrick has meant a lot to this organization and to this city and to this team and has had to overcome a lot over the years with all the injuries to get back to the point he was. But in putting our plan together, we felt as a first step this really made sense for us.''
Rose came from one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city to No. 1 pick to Rookie of the Year to All-Star to MVP in his first three seasons, only to stop due to injuries to each knee. The injuries always stopped him from bringing home the ultimate prize. Now, Rose is going to the Knicks along with guard Justin Holiday and a 2017 first-round pick. In exchange, the Bulls got center Robin Lopez and guards Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant.
Chicago fans can hold debates over the logic behind the deal, but no one can argue over the fact that the Bulls management kept its words of not to sit still by pulling the trigger on a major trade. Team executives John Paxson and Forman said at the end of the season that no player was safe.
Analysts maintain that by trading Rose, the Bulls management has sent a clear message that they mean business and will not mind sacrificing even big names.