Over two years after his return to Chicago in which he was booed out of the building, for nothing in truth after giving his all for the Bulls in his tenure there, Derrick Rose returned on Wednesday as a conquering hero to his former fans. They gave him a king’s welcome, they cheered him when he made baskets, and they even chanted “MVP” toward him when he was taking free throws in the fourth quarter. And it was all justified, on the night, at least as Rose had another one of those nights to remember that makes us all reminiscence about the player he used to be and could have been. Rose led his Minnesota Timberwolves by scoring 24 points and provided eight further assists in their 119-94 blowout win. Rose won’t be winning the MVP award this season, or likely in any season thereafter, but he is a former MVP for the Bulls, and it was really nice to see them appreciate him and throw it back to 2012 when D-Rose looked like he would be the one to challenge LeBron’s throne.
Elsewhere, Luka Doncic once again showed why he the Atlanta Hawks made a big mistake to let him go to the Dallas Mavericks in the draft earlier this year. The Slovenian superstar keeps on getting comparisons to his LeBron James, and honestly it’s starting to make sense, as crazy as that sounds. Doncic was one rebound away from a triple-double that would have made him the youngest to ever achieve the honor. With his 21 points, ten assists, and nine boards in a 122-119 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, Doncic has now achieved that in three games from the last five he has played. Dirk Nowitzki, his forerunner if you will, has been left amazed by the prodigy. At some point, you feel like it has to come to an end. And then you realize that is never really has with LeBron, so we could just be looking at the most dominant player of this current generation. Only time will tell, but if he improves and stays injury-free, he could well get to that lofty goal.
It wouldn’t be a Boxing Day wrap up without mention of the English Premier League. The day after Christmas is always popular in England, as almost all of the teams play and as many as four games are televised back-to-back-to-back-to-back. This year’s was especially notable as Liverpool got a 4-0 win over Newcastle. Coupled with a loss by Manchester City away to Leicester City (2-1), they now have a seven point lead at the top of the table. They have never won a league title before, and they now have a big advantage over their supposed closest rivals. The other team, though, that had a big day as Tottenham, who won 5-0 over Bournemouth, jumping City to move into second. They are now six points (which is two wins away) from Liverpool at the top. Like Liverpool, Spurs have never won a PL title, either. Could this be the season for one of them, or will they both fall by the wayside as they’ve done before?