To the residents of Englewood, where Derrick Rose grew up, having the Bulls… (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago…)
Winters in Englewood always seem a little colder than anywhere else in the city. Buried underneath all the snow and ice lies a foundational feeling of situational hopelessness and desperation.
But when it comes to Derrick Rose, while some may have an aversion to calling him a role model or a hero in a place like Englewood, where he's from, he's certainly both those things. He's also a beacon of hope for many who live there.
For adults, there exists a sense of pride that Rose is "one of ours." And for the kids, well, they know D-Rose once grew up under the same circumstances, giving them hope they could one day be successful too, and not necessarily in sports.
Truth is, the entire community has just as much of a desire to see him succeed as Adidas or even the Bulls.
So when Rose went down with a torn ACL in April 2012, you can bet the spirits of many men, women, sons and daughters of his old neighborhood were crushed. And you can also bet that once "The Return" campaign rolled out, no one was more excited than the residents of the place that Rose once called home.
Almost 18 months since his injury, we've seen him on the court in videos from his overseas tours, during practice and during the preseason.
But many Englewood residents can't afford to buy tickets to a Bulls game, or are even fortunate enough to have cable TV, a computer or Internet access.
That just makes the winter days in Englewood even gloomier.
So while we're all disappointed that Rose waited so long to suit up again for the Bullls, no one was more disappointed than the residents of Englewood. In a place that robs people of opportunity daily, imagine the sadness of being robbed of an opportunity to cheer for one of your own.
And if that seems overly dramatic to you, well, it's an Englewood thing, and you just wouldn't understand.
RedEye special contributor Bryan Crawford is an Englewood resident.
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