Michael Carter-Williams wore No. 1 at Syracuse.
He wore No. 1 with the 76ers.
And after being traded from the Bucks – who already retired No. 1 for Oscar Robertson, forcing Carter-Williams to wear No. 5 – he planned to wear No. 1 with the Bulls:
One problem: Derrick Rose – Chicago native and former MVP – wore No. 1 with the Bulls the last eight years.
Though Chicago traded Rose to the Knicks, enough Rose fans found Carter-Williams’ choice – and the Bulls’ willingness to accommodate it – objectionable. After they made their voices heard on social media, Carter-Williams backed off.
Chuck Garfien of CSN Chicago:
Should the Bulls retire No. 1 for Rose? He’s no Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen, but Rose at least deserves discussion considering Jerry Sloan and Bob Love are the other two Chicago players with their numbers retired. I’d lean no. Restricted severely by injuries, Rose just did so little outside his MVP season and won just three playoff series.
But this discussion should mostly be moot here. Teams give away numbers that will later be retired all the time. Maybe they shouldn’t, because fans get so up in arms. But maybe fans should realize another player taking a uniform number is no big deal.
If Carter-Williams stuck with No. 1, any controversy would’ve faded quickly. Changing to No. 7 will quiet critics even faster, and if that’s what Carter-Williams preferred, good for him. I just don’t believe ceding to the public pressure accomplished much for him.