Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Since MJ, Derrick Rose is the Most Valuable Player in Chi-Town

While he's projected to be named the Most Valuable Player, projected as virtually the top point guard in the NBA and projected to claim that he's by far the best one-guard of this generation, he is the broadest talent in a guard-driven league.

As Derrick Rose reminded us this season, when he clearly blossomed into a premier and franchise player in not only the streets of Chicago but for the Chicago Bulls as well, he proved to the doubters that he's the face of the future. This was for the prejudice and bias cynics who never believed that he'd morph into a catalyst on the NBA level. This was for disbelievers who never paid attention in what he brought to the Bulls, honestly becoming the brightest name since MJ retired in 1998.


The statue of Michael Jordan, unveiled before a television audience in '94, has us speculating the possibility of Rose earning his own bronze statue outside of the United Center someday, maybe when he wins multiple titles and his first MVP award. The assumption ahead for the Bulls, formerly justified as the Baby Bulls in the post-Paxson era, a period of time in which Chicago was dismantled by the poor choices orchestrated by ex-general manager John Paxson, is far more promising as long as Rose is the pioneer of the recent framework in Chicago.

Working at the toughest position, standing as the floor general and putting damn near 48 minutes into a game regularly, five days a week for an 82-game season, Rose has played brilliantly and, above all, his work ethic is incredibly beneficial and worthy of individual accolades. Rose, as you probably know, is an honorable resident in Chicago, an iconic figure in his hometown where he bloomed as a high school phenom and devoted his life to basketball in the streets of Chicago, growing up admiring Jordan in the murky south side of Chicago where murders and gang violence were heavy.

At an early age, prematurely accustomed to dribbling a ball by developing a singular style with his art for the game, but more than anything his love for the game, he became proficient and sagacious. With the gossip surrounding his alleged sweet fetish, it is ideally true that he enjoys devouring candies and junk food and has no conscience to cut back on the unhealthy food. By now, however, maybe the junk food enhances his performance level and keeps him energized on many nights, the kind of explosiveness required in order to foster as a perennial ballplayer.

In the span of a few weeks, Rose specifically will be honored with the award no doubt. He's a true icon, a priceless magnet who continues to claim his righteousness with the mountains of evidence that proves his value. What we've learned is, according to the public's eye in what has been a season of prosperity and growth, that he is the popular superstar in the league among viewers, outdistancing megastars such as Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to name a few. Even Jordan himself knows, after acknowledging that he deserves the MVP honors, that he is worthy of the greatest individual prize.

And while the prediction remains dubious in spots until the announcement is official, he is publicly still the frontrunner in voting for the MVP. There is, believe it or not, a Rose in Chicago, one flowering before our very eyes and one that has cemented a legacy in his own town. All this season, judging by his professionalism and sharpness, it has been telling that Rose -- whose candidacy musters a lot of reinforcements from many of whom admire him – is apparently having his greatest season and has clearly been the best offensive player for the Bulls.

This year, partly because of Rose, the Bulls are the team with the league's second-best record. What's a prime factor, which seems to be solidifying his MVP status in a season when the Bulls can easily be rated as favorites to encounter a dramatic match-up against the two-time defending championship, is that Chicago has been flawless defensively with Rose on the floor. If we're truly aiming to find the valuable player, we'd find it in Rose.

Also, with Joakim Noah injured throughout much of the season and lacking a true shooting guard, Rose was able to carry the Bulls on his back along with the defensively challenged Carlos Boozer who had worn out his welcome in Utah.

The story of this talented guard, an unselfish and poised player, is that he made a scene nationally ever since his emergence into the NBA and won Rookie of the Year in 2009 and was an All-Star in 2010, noticed on highlight reels after having a stellar season. The best part coming with his full potential in the past, a shred of hype that turned into a rational perception in the NBA, is that he developed and mellowed quality and applied his ability to manipulate the dynamics of the game with his quickness and agility. Despite the uncertainty from the last time Rose played Boston, he walked off forlorn and numb after losing.

This time, he walked off the floor a winner. He walked off with a smile on his face elated over the decisive win and refreshed our minds with memories of Game 7 of an epic classic in the 2009 first-round series. As a fixture, he finally didn't derail and matured. No longer a kid, no longer an inexperience rookie or second-year player with very little playoff success but a player with athleticism to beat Boston by playing at the highest level. He is, to put it simply, the MVP when he has clearly performed like an MVP, considering his consistency and transcendent play against the Celtics and Rajon Rondo.


This is exactly one of the reasons he qualifies for the award, mentioned in the category which comprises of Bryant, Dwight Howard and LeBron James. The Bulls don't fear Boston any longer, elites in the Eastern conference these days, ready for the postseason and the exertion. The common sentiment from a 22-year-old with his firepower, explosiveness and intelligence around the NBA lately is Rose is evidently at the top of the list.

All of this, by far, is a measure of progress for the modest superstar, a favorite to win the MVP and, in all likelihood, a top-notch among players for Most Improved when his three-point percentage has ascended to seven points this season. Inspired by Tom Thibodeau, the first-year head coach who served as an assistant on Boston's 2008 championship team, Rose is leading the Bulls. For all his lashing and prolific coaching that has transformed the personality, the fear of the Celtics is no longer a burden and won't raise any fear, not as long as Rose plays relentlessly and Thibodeau has an influence on the way his players evaluates and competes in the game.

And with the regular-season winding down, the Bulls can even clinch first place out of the East, which seems farfetched. But the truth is that if Rose is qualified for the MVP, it would be fair to call Thibodeau the Coach of the Year. The basketball world is gushing over Rose, the soft-spoken Chicago native and one of the most remarkable players in the league. It is there, and not unreal, that he has been his conference's player of the week four times.

He is essentially the vital ingredient needed to blend in with Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, suddenly famous and has the top five of NBA's top-selling jerseys on the market. It's clear Rose is having a monstrous season, endorsed by Magic Johnson, Jordan, Doc Rivers and Chris Bosh, a few of the names he might have to face in the playoffs. Every viewer tuning in for basketball is awed and amazed by Rose.

Most definitely, he's the MVP!