When Derrick Rose signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his intention was to show that he can be a positive contributor on a winning team and prove he can still play at a high level. But one aspect of his game that was so crucial to his success early in his career was his ability to get to the line. However since his All-Star seasons, Rose feels like he hasn’t received a fair whistle from the officials.
Derrick Rose opened up to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin after leaving Friday night’s game with an ankle sprain. He spoke directly on Greg Monroe’s foul, which occurred on the same play he hurt his ankle”
"I think I'm the only person in the league that's not getting a flagrant for that call, bro," Rose said after scoring 12 points in 23 minutes before exiting the game for good with 10:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. "Come on, man. Like, I'm sure I'm the only player, but it is what it is. ... That's a common foul. Wow. Come on."
Dwyane Wade also echoed Rose’s sentiment while expressing frustration towards the lack of calls he’s received:
"I ain't got calls in the last seven years, so I definitely understand what he's talking about," Wade said. "It's unfortunate, a guy goes down and he can't protect himself. From what we're told, as players, if they go around the neck it's automatic. And, Derrick said it when he got here. He said, 'Listen, y'all, I ain't gonna get calls.' And it continues to happen to him. But he's going to keep attacking the rim. That's his nature and that's who he is and we know that. So, hopefully next time, it's rewarded."
There is also some validity to the free throw rate dropping off for Rose since his All-Star seasons. In the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, Rose had a free throw rate of 34.8 and 34.4 percent respectively. Since that point, his rate hasn’t exceeded 25.9 (small sample size caveat that he is at 55.6 through two games this season).
Part of why Rose doesn’t receive the benefit of the whistle as much as other players is because of his athleticism. Rose often contorts his body in traffic to finish at the rim, rather than embracing the contact and heading to the line. As a result of that, when the contact does come it often is viewed as incidental.
While the intent didn’t appear to be to injure, there’s no denying that Greg Monroe contacted Rose above the neck. With no flagrant being called and the resulting injury Rose suffered, frustration is understandable and justified.