CHICAGO—Following his numerous failed attempts at the challenging skateboard trick, sources confirmed Wednesday that Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose successfully landed a perfect 720-degree aerial at a local skate park.
Rose reportedly managed to spin two full rotations after launching off of the tallest vert ramp at Chicago’s Wilson Park, with eyewitnesses confirming that the three-time NBA All-Star reached over 10 feet of air while performing the trick.
“That was awesome,” an out-of-breath but visibly excited Rose told reporters. “I’ve been trying to do a 720 for months—I must have tried at least a hundred times—but it was all worth it for that one moment. The hardest part is building enough speed so you can get high enough for that last half-turn. I can’t believe I actually did it.”
“I almost ate shit on the landing, though,” the 2008 number-one overall NBA draft pick continued. “But I managed to straighten the board out after I hit the transition.”
According to Rose, the 720 marked his first successful completion of the trick in the several years during which he has been a regular visitor to Chicago’s various municipal skate parks. The skateboarding enthusiast and former NBA Rookie of the Year told reporters that, when not on the road with the Bulls or attending physical rehabilitation sessions, he spends most afternoons practicing on an assortment of bowls, pyramids, funboxes, and snake runs, repeatedly attempting physically demanding tricks for hours at a time.
Though he reportedly struggled to accomplish basic moves such as ollies and kick flips when he first began skateboarding following the Bulls’ 2012 season, Rose now routinely attempts McTwists, 540 Varials, and Judo Airs, in which he pulls his board back from his body and kicks one leg forward while hurtling off of a half-pipe at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
Following his successful 720, Rose confirmed that he already has his sights set on landing a 900.
“I’ve rolled my ankle a few times and gotten a bruise or two coming off those huge drops, but you just have to dust yourself off and get back out there,” said Rose, adding that he never wears pads or a helmet, as they constrict his style and “just look fucking dumb.” “It’s all part of skating. Like last week, I bailed pretty hard after trying a 50-50 grind on this huge handrail that went down a two-story staircase. But after I came to, I just got back up and kept on skating.”
“Man, that one hurt like a bitch,” Rose added. “Luckily my deck was okay.”
Rose noted that he is also an active street skateboarder, telling reporters he routinely takes advantage of the fire hydrants, park benches, and other urban elements that provide challenging obstacles off of which to perform tricks. Citing professional skaters Bob Burnquist and Eric Koston as his main inspirations, the 2011 NBA MVP said that he has recently expanded his repertoire by incorporating backward “fakie” landings into his vert sessions, as well as attempting increasingly dangerous stunts such as clearing an entire flight of stairs and grinding the ledges of rooftops.
“There are a lot of pretty crazy places in the city I want to explore,” said Rose, cradling his freshly scraped, bleeding elbow after a failed noseblunt on a curb in the United Center parking lot sent him sprawling headlong into the pavement. “I heard about this abandoned factory that has all sorts of conveyor belts and broken-down machines and stuff, which should be pretty good for doing noseslides and manuals. I just have to watch out for cops so I don’t get kicked out like I did at LOVE Park before we played the Sixers last year.”
“But I’ll have plenty of time to check it out if we get knocked out early in the playoffs,” Rose added.
At press time, Rose was veering around an oncoming tractor-trailer as he skateboarded into heavy traffic.