Chicago Radio Host: Bulls Fans Split Down The Middle

The Derrick Rose era in Chicago has come to an end – mercifully, depending on your point of view. Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP, has been ravaged by injuries during the last five years, and, after playing in 117 games over the last two seasons – this after playing in 49 over the previous three – has been traded to the Knicks.

Will Rose, 27, ever come close to being the player he once was?

“Well, I don’t think he’ll ever be the 2011 Derrick Rose because of circumstance and of course because of injury,” Chicago’s 670 the Score host Jason Goff said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “If you base it on what you saw last year, it was the tale of two halves. He started off the year and the training camp fine, and two days into it, he gets an elbow from Taj Gibson. He’s got a surgery that he has to have performed on his face, he wears a face mask, there was talk of double vision, he had to come up with a bank shot – he was not one of the better point guards in the league. And then after the All-Star break, he turned into one of the top six or seven point guards in the Eastern Conference.”

Rose averaged 15.9 points on 40.8 percent shooting before the All-Star break and 17.4 points on 46.8 percent shooting after it. He joins a Knicks team that went 32-50 last year and has missed the playoffs in three straight seasons.

“I think the Knicks have a low-risk, high-reward situation on their hand,” Goff said. “It seems like they’re in a rolling transition with Carmelo Anthony getting a little bit older and Kristaps Porzingis being the future. I’m sure they want to give it one more go. Why not try to get Derrick Rose and maybe Dwight Howard in the mix as well to give it one more shot?”

The Bulls, meanwhile, will build around Jimmy Butler and hope to improve a team that went 42-40 this past year and missed the playoffs by two games.

Some Chicagoans are sad to see Rose go. Heartbroken, even. Other Bulls fans, however, couldn’t be happier.

“It’s split right down the middle,” Goff said. “I think people were surprised even though that talk had kind of circled the Bulls since they didn’t make the playoffs this year. But with John Paxson and Gar Forman, they’ve been guys who have held on to their nucleus sometimes too long, going back to the days of Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich and Andres Nocioni. So you hear all those talks, but you figure who’s going to really pull the trigger? And then when it happens, you got half of a fan base that had pretty much discarded him. Because of the things Derrick has said, he put himself in tough positions with a lot of the fans. And then you got the other half who have rooted for (a local kid) since he was a child. So it was split right down the middle. He’s a very polarizing athlete in this city.”

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