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Chicago Bulls: No. 53

Joakim Noah had a strong season, but fans wait to see what will happen when Rose returns. Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's September 29 Fansourced Issue. Subscribe today!

Last year's rank: 42
Title track: 35
Ownership: 61
Coaching: 11
Players: 8
Fan relations: 41
Affordability: 87
Stadium experience: 52
Bang for the buck: 86

It all hinges on the prematurely creaky, hopefully surgically repaired knees of 25-year-old former MVP Derrick Rose. Sure, Bulls fans have enjoyed the team's scrappiness without Rose. But coach Tom Thibodeau's lunch-pail style, at least over the past three years without the team's MVP, has translated to first-round exits. Joakim Noah's overall brilliance last season was something to behold, and the 48 wins were nice, but a five-game first-round defeat at the hands of the Wizards was the pudding of proof.

Yet the money train keeps rolling -- Chicago led the league in attendance for the fourth straight year. But with average ticket prices ($77.65) and parking ($25) both more than 40 percent higher than the NBA norms, fans would surely like Rose to stay on the court for more than 10 games a year. His absence is a big reason the Bulls fell 11 spots from last year's overall ranking and 29 slots from two years ago. Ownership, meanwhile, plunged 23 spots, perhaps due to fallout from the luxury-tax-driven Luol Deng trade, which sent the beloved star to Cleveland for pennies on the dollar. Stadium experience and bang for the buck are also down significantly, sliding 18 and 14 spots, respectively. This season Rose will have more help than ever with the additions of Pau Gasol, Doug McDermott and European standout Nikola Mirotic. And thankfully, Rose hasn't shown any signs of breaking down while playing for the U.S. team in the FIBA World Cup. That creaking sound might be the door opening for a Bulls playoff run.