On Halloween night the best of the beasts of the NBA got all dressed up like comic-con cosplay. Trick or treat. You really feared the beard of Houston Rockets reigning MVP James Harden, who put a Bane mask over his facial fuzz one. Whilst who else could Klay Thompson come as after breaking Steph Curry’s fresh hot three-point record with 14 in his 52 point game than Will Ferrell’s Jackie Moon of the Flint Tropics from ‘Semi-Pro’? Los Angeles Laker LeBron James also got his ski-mask game on as Jason Voorhees. Whilst Lonzo donned the Batman cowl and ever stylish teammate Josh Hart even came as Dwight Schrute from ‘The Office’. File that one away.
But it was Derrick Rose who really shocked the NBA playing like a man possessed in the Timberwolves 128-125 win over the Utah Jazz. It was a thriller night. And Derrick did it all without wearing a mask.
The costumed drama night felt like nostalgia. It felt like old times. And it wasn’t because the Timberwolves were back to rocking those black and tree pin-stripe throwbacks from the big ticket K.G. days. As a hair blown out D-Rose looked like he was sitting on Sprewell’s. A day before unveiling their new Minnesota Prince inspired purple ‘City Edition’ Nike jerseys set to reign forever like RM of BTS. Even if it did feel like the early 2000’s. All the way down to Will Smith’s Instagram post a day later with Martin Lawrence officially announcing that ‘Bad Boys 3’ is a go. What you gonna do?
But the only thing that everyone in the NBA from a former Cavalier teammate King to Kobe were talking about more than those ‘Bad Boys’ from Miami not Detroit was the “ride together, die together”, passion performance Rose put on for his new organization, franchise and city. The 2011 Most Valuable Player, back then set to take the torch from G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls stepped in the rejuvenation machine. Stepping it up in the absence of Jeff Teague and the Butler he did it. Becoming the renaissance man, number 25 had a new career-high of a half century 50 points. To go along with 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and one big block on the Jazz’s Dante Exum to concrete seal the game. As this kiss from a Rose was all she wrote.
“I worked my ass off man” Derrick told the sideline reporter post-game as he was drenched in a Gatorade towel and a thousand tears seemingly sourced from so many years of pain. Taking flight his red eyes burnt like champagne as he was embraced post-game and then locker-room mobbed with purifying euphoria water like it was Game 7. And it may as well have been as Derrick has come along way from the injury’s that crippled what could still be a Hall of Fame classic career for the Chi-town legend looking to change the course of the Basketball God’s plan like the Windy City. As there wasn’t a dry eye in the Minneapolis house for the Rose that grew from all that concrete.
A Rose by any other name is still a rose.
And as this wolf was unleashed for the Timberwolves with Predator dreads that he let down like crawling Tarantula legs, Rose did more than just bloom for a one hit game wonder. He may have had the game ball, but carrying a medicine one on his team’s road trip flight the next day you could even call it a comeback. He’s putting in work for it. Finding his rhythm and his shot. As Rose rose for one play down court we all saw him stop on a dime and fake a sleight of hand pass before putting the play away himself. It’s the kind of Point Guard treat of a trick skill that gives guys handles like Magic. Don’t look now but Derrick Rose is pulling more than white rabbits out his hat. They ain’t got s### on the guy nicknamed Pooh.
Hat’s off to a real legend whose still got it. Let’s celebrate the tenacity of these damaged petals willing to reach for the sun. Showing no matter who doubts you you can still come up smelling of roses so long as your heart doesn’t wilt.
And in recording half a Chamberlain it’s all engraved in concrete now.