ESPN Madision

2012's Top Ten Stateline Sports Moments: #1 - The Day The Chicago Bulls Died

Dec 31, 2012 -- 4:09pm

Date: April 28

Location: United Center; Chicago, Illinois

No moment this past year had a greater impact.  Short term.  Long term.  What happened in late April on Chicago’s west side is causing ripple effects even to this day.  The worst case scenario actually happened.

Derrick Rose is an aggressive point guard.  He’s physical.  He’s agile.  His style of play leads to injuries, including a few that kept him out of a good chunk of the season.  But that’s him.  That’s Derrick Rose.  He’s part of the new wave of NBA point guard, possibly the leader.  He’s far and away the leader of the Chicago Bulls. 

He was leading the Bulls to a Game 1 win in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals over the Sixers.  23 points, nine assists, nine rebounds, and the Bulls lead by twelve with under 90 seconds to go.  Rose, still in the game, made a move down the lane, hopped around Spencer Hawes, and dished to the corner.  It’s a move he’s done hundreds of times in his NBA career.  But this one was different.  Something went wrong when he landed.  The play resulted in a turnover, but Rose didn’t back track.  He fell to the court holding his left knee.  And he didn’t get up.

ACL tear was the diagnosis, and Derrick Rose hasn’t stepped on the floor yet.  The Bulls would fall to the eighth-seeded Sixers in six games, and the Bulls we came to know over the last four years was done.  The roster broke apart, and the MVP wasn’t coming back anytime soon.  One awkward landing has set the Bulls back two years, at least.  As I type this, the Bulls are losing at home to the Bobcats, who have lost eighteen straight. 

Tom Thibodeau came under fire for having Rose in the game, justifiably so.  The Sixers had removed their top scorers from the game, Thibodeau did not.  The game was over.  Rose agreed a few months later.  But that’s Tom Thibodeau.  Despite nearly everyone telling him to stop, Thibodeau will run his players into the ground.  Rose’s injuries during the season, along with Luol Deng’s and Joakim Noah’s, can attest to that.  Despite his defensive mentality and schemes, it will forever be Thibodeau’s flaw.  It was fatal in late April.

Will Derrick Rose change his style whenever he returns?  Unlikely, although it wouldn’t hurt.  Tom Thibodeau certainly won’t, as we’ve seen already this season.  We don’t know what Derrick Rose will be when he returns, and what the Chicago Bulls will look like when he does.  And that’s why this is number one.  While the majority of the moments on my list have altered teams, or even leagues, none of them had as widespread of an impact as this one.

In a flash, the Chicago Bulls were done. 

2012 was somewhat tumultuous, so let’s hope for a semi-calmer 2013.  With more winning.  Happy new year.

P.S. The Lovie Smith firing would have assuredly made this list, but it will be worked into next year’s.  Look for it near the top.


10. Montee Ball Breaks NCAA Touchdown Record

9. Raffi Torres Hits Marian Hossa

8. Dan Appino Goes To Auburn

7. Aaron Rodgers Named NFL MVP

6. The Fail Mary

5. Ryan Braun Wins Appeal Of Drug Suspension

4. NIU Crashes Into BCS

3. Bears Fire Jerry Angelo

2. Bret Bielema Leaves Wisconsin

1. Derrick Rose Tears ACL

sports, basketball, bulls, rose, acl, thibodeau, sixers

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