“When I found out Derrick [Rose] tore his ACL, I remember the smells, who I was with, everything. I had the same feeling of when I saw the plane hit the tower [on Sept. 11th]. People will be like, ‘He’s crazy for saying that.’ No. I’m telling you how I felt.”
That’s former NBA star Joakim Noah explaining he was so devastated when a young D-Rose suffered the serious injury, it harkened him back to the day thousands of Americans died in one of the darkest days in America’s history.
36-year-old Noah — who last played with the Clippers in 2020 — dropped the shocking quote about his close friend during a long form conversation with ESPN.
Of course, the injury happened during the 2011-2012 NBA playoffs. The Bulls were the #1 seed in the East … and were playing the Sixers in the 1st round of the playoffs.
Chicago won game 1, but the game was marred by the ACL tear to Rose, the leagues reigning MVP.
With only about a minute left in the game, Rose tore the ligament in his left knee.
Before the season ending injury, D-Rose was a rebound and assist away from a triple double (23 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists).
The Bulls ended up losing the series … and although Rose — now one of the NY Knicks’ best players — has come back since as a highly capable player, but never returned to pre-injury form.
“We really believed we were gonna win that championship,” Noah says.
“That was our time. Derrick represented that much hope. Every time he stepped onto the court, we had the most special player in the world. That’s a lot of hope to carry on one person.”
As far as comparing a sports injury to the horrific death of almost 3,000 innocent people … it’s likely a comparison that won’t sit right with some people.