Derrick Rose driving

With unparalleled levels of speed and athleticism Derrick Rose ran the court like The Flash and finished at the rim like Superman. Before his untimely leg injuries Chicago’s Savior electrified the league and galvanized his hometown (Modern Notoriety’s hometown too); and in only his third NBA season D-Rose became the youngest MVP in league history. Many moons have passed since his glory years, but exactly eight years ago today Derrick brought the MVP trophy back to The Chi at the tender age of 22.

Derrick Rose adidas MVP marketing

The 2010-11 Bulls enjoyed a 62 win season and reached the Eastern Conference Finals (where they lost to LeBron’s Miami Heat) with D-Rose running the point. The MVP’s season splits show only a fraction of everything he did on the court, but they’re impressive none the less at 25 PPG, 7.7 APG, 1 SPG, on .485 % shooting. Quantifying Rose’s effect on defenses is a task best suited for an analytics whizkid, yet anyone watching could see how the guard absolutely broke down any and every perimeter opponent. Rose was a true master at penetrating and collapsing defenses. Think of it this way, Steph Curry pulls teams away from the basket with his shooting, but Derrick Rose forced defenders to rotate inward towards the hoop to prevent him from finishing.

Sadly for defenders… meeting Derrick at the rim was a bad idea:

Thanksgiving came every day cus D-Rose always brought the YAMS!

That boy was the truth and the D-Rose footwear by adidas was on point too. As a rookie Derrick signed a multi-year deal with the Three Stripes and received his first signature shoe before the start of season two. In a pre-BOOST world adidas Basketball lacked competitive technologies and was losing to Nike Basketball on every level of the game. Acquiring Rose’s talents brought life back into adidas Basketball, and Derrick was undoubtedly adidas’s poster child. The Adi-Zero Rose series stood as the pinnacle of what adidas Basketball was trying to do – create lightweight, flashy kicks that the next generation could get excited about.


Derrick Rose with the D-Rose 2 by adidas

In retrospect the 2011 season was a standout sneaker year for Rose; them kicks still look good in ’19! Throughout his MVP campaign the adidas Adi-Zero Rose 2 could be seen on-foot and all over ESPN Top-10 Plays. Here’s the DL on these (now classic) adidas bangers:

adidas Adi-Zero Rose 2

Back in the early 2010s brands competed to create the lightest footwear possible. Paper thin synthetic uppers were all the rage, but no performance basketball shoe of the era executed the “glass cannon” quite like D-Rose’s early joints.

The adidas Adi-Zero Rose 2 (D-Rose 2 for short) was able to achieve its elite lightness and retain durability due to Sprint Frame & Sprint Web technologies. The techs allowed adidas to cut out layers of upper material while maintaining stability through the mid foot and created breathability. PU insole cushioning and adidas’s patented EVA midsole unit provide the shoe’s fit and comfort.

adidas Adi-Zero Rose 2

adidas used a leather toe box (on most versions) in an attempt to make the shoe more ‘lifestyle friendly’ and if you ask us it worked. Common complaints about the D-Rose 1/1.5 were centered around how goofy the shoe looked off the court. The D-Rose 2 wasn’t perfect in this regard, but no doubt it looks better with jeans than its predecessors. With news of adidas bringing back the first D-Rose model surfacing recently we wouldn’t be surprised to see adidas dip back into the D-Rose 2.

adidas Adi-Zero Rose 2 Lux
adidas Adi-Zero Rose 2 ‘Wolverine’

The shoe’s lateral straps feature Rose’s signature and add a nice aesthetic touch (not so much a functional touch). Our favorite design feature is the heel of the D-Rose 2. The Three Stripes are positioned at an angle on the heel counter as an ode to Derrick’s defenders. He wanted them to see the Stripes as he blew past them on his way to the rim – savage.

adidas Adi-Zero Rose 2

There was even a low top version too.

adidas Adi-Zero Rose 2 Low

Here’s a video with Derrick reviewing his own kicks!

No one through D-Rose would be that good sooo early, but his All-Star caliber play proved everyone wrong and put Chicago back on the map. We wish the Derrick Rose glory days would return, but all we’re left with are fond memories and dope kicks and, in a way, that’s not all too bad.


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