Even before he became the youngest MVP in NBA history, we knew Derrick Rose was going to be special. I'd say we knew that the second he stepped on the floor for the Bulls in his rookie season in 2008-09, one he also won ROY in. I don't know about you, but I can't remember seeing that type of athleticism from a point guard. What he and Russell Westbrook brought in that 2008 season was pretty ridiculous with the way they instantly came into the league and dominated. What's a punch to the gut was in his first three years, DRose basically never got hurt. Played 81, 78, and 80 games in his first three seasons with an MVP mixed in.
I thin what stands out most to me during that first DRose season though was that first round series against the Celts. That was an incredible series with both he and Ben Gordon reaching a different level. The Celtics, one of the best defensive teams in the league, had absolutely zero answer for Rose. I remember watching each game being in legit fear every time he had the ball. There was no stopping him and I can only imagine how hyped that made Bulls fans. They finally had their guy to carry them post Jordan.
As we know after the 2010-11 season the injuries came and things were forever changed, but even in 2020 Derrick Rose is still getting buckets which is great to see. One of the great NBA 'what ifs' I think it's safe to assume that had he never gotten hurt he might very well have another MVP and the Bulls would certainly have more than 5 playoff series wins since MJ left. You could tell right away that he was something special, young Derrick Rose was just different.