Best, an early substitute for the injured Ruben Rochina, grabbed a superb 89th minute equaliser at Pride Park, swivelling to volley home Chris Taylor's centre.
The striker has had to endure some tough times since his £3m move from Newcastle United last summer, missing most of the 2012-13 campaign due to a cruciate knee ligament injury picked up in pre-season.
Now free of injury Best hopes that his first goal can see him finally kick start his Rovers career.
"I had a few little chances and I was thinking it was never going to happen," said Best after the game.
"I hit the post and the 'keeper tipped one round off the post but we kept going and I thought we did well.
"I'm a bit disappointed that we didn't win, to say how well Derby did last season shows how well we have started.
"It was a great ball for the goal from Tayls, I was going mad at him a few minutes before because he didn't give him a good pass, so I made sure I congratulated him and thanked him."
Another person Leon Best thanked was Dave Fevre. The club's Head of Sports Medicine has worked long hours with the striker in assisting his recovery from the knee injury.
So it was touching that after scoring the equaliser the 26-year-old went over to hug Fevre in the technical area.
"I told him that I'd come looking for him and I did do," added the striker.
"I saw some of my friends in the stadium so I saluted them and then made my way to Fevs.
"I needed that to just get myself back to where I want to be, and obviously get myself in the team.
"I don't deserve to just start because I was a big signing, I have to prove myself to the players and the manager that I deserve to play. So today has done me no harm.
"I've had a long time out of football and I love playing football, so I'm delighted to be back and today my goal has made me a little bit happier.
"It feels like a nice fresh season, a new start and a goal to start it off."