A lockout-shortened campaign provided unique challenges for NBA clubs in 2011-2012, but through all the fatigue, punishment, and scheduling quirks it looked like the cream had risen to the top by the end of the regular season. For the second consecutive year, the Chicago Bulls posted the best record in the Eastern Conference despite extended absences from new acquisition Rip Hamilton and reigning MVP Derrick Rose, and both appeared to be getting healthy for a title run.
Then disaster struck.
In the waning minutes of the Bull's first playoff game, hometown hero and squad captain Derrick Rose went down-and-out with an ACL tear, benching him for the duration of the post-season. A hush fell over the United Center and across all of Bull Nation as the driving force behind our championship hopes was lost...but if any team can survive such a setback, it's this one.
Nagging injuries kept D-Rose out of 27 games this year, and the Bulls won 18 of them -- including key victories over Dallas, Miami, and Boston . Coach Thibs preaches teamwork and solid defense and his players have always responded -- now they have even more motivation to prove that they can do it for Derrick!
Kyle Korver captured the team's resolve with a passionate post the night of D's injury: "Derrick is more than an MVP to our team. He's our friend, our brother he inspires us to be the very best we can be, just by who he is and how hard he plays...but now is not the time to ask why or to get bitter. Now is the time to refocus and ask "How are we going to win this Championship?" We have the best Team in the league. This season has proven, we are a TEAM and it has taken us ALL to have the best record. Let's focus on what's ahead. This is an incredible opportunity for All of Us to step up and make it happen. We're all gonna have to work harder and smarter. We are all gonna have to believe in ourselves. That we are more than the sum of our parts."
Perhaps they can do it -- for themselves, for us, for the red-and-black, and for Derrick. Show your support with this tee that touts the motivation and the method that might just lead to something special. It comes in men's and women's cuts on red or black 100% cotton pre-shrunk shirts in sizes small through 4XL. (Alternate sizes/colors/cuts/styles can be printed on request).